Relation of vitamin D deficiency to cardiovascular risk factors, disease status, and incident events in a general healthcare population – Source: American Journal of Cardiology, Oct 1, 2010

Vitamin D recently has been proposed to play an important role in a broad range of organ functions, including cardiovascular (CV) health; however, the CV evidence-base is limited.

We prospectively analyzed a large electronic medical records database to determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and the relation of vitamin D levels to prevalent and incident CV risk factors and diseases, including mortality.

The database contained 41,504 patient records with at least one measured vitamin D level.

The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (30 ng/ml or less) was 63.6%, with only minor differences by gender or age.

Vitamin D deficiency was associated with highly significant (p <0.0001) increases in the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and peripheral vascular disease. [Probability (P) of this finding resulting by chance less than 1 in 10,000.]

Also, those without risk factors but with severe deficiency had an increased likelihood of developing diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia.

The vitamin D levels were also highly associated with:

• Coronary artery disease,

• Myocardial infarction [heart attack],

• Heart failure,

• And stroke (all p <0.0001),

As well as with incident death, heart failure, coronary artery disease/myocardial infarction (all p <0.0001), stroke (p = 0.003), and their composite (p <0.0001).

In conclusion, we have confirmed a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the general healthcare population and an association between vitamin D levels and prevalent and incident CV risk factors and outcomes.

These observations lend strong support to the hypothesis that vitamin D might play a primary role in CV risk factors and disease.

Given the ease of vitamin D measurement and replacement, prospective studies of vitamin D supplementation to prevent and treat CV disease are urgently needed.

Source: American Journal of Cardiology, Oct 1, 2010;106(7):963-8. PMID: 20854958, Anderson JL, May HT, Horne BD, Bair TL, Hall NL, Carlquist JF, Lappé DL, Muhlestein JB; Intermountain Heart Collaborative (IHC) Study Group. Cardiovascular Department, Intermountain Medical Center, Murray, Utah, USA. [Email:]

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