Vitamin D may be a matter of life expectancy for many, major clinic study finds

Vitamin D deficiency and supplementation and relation to cardiovascular health
– Source: American Journal of Cardiology, Feb 2012

By James L Vacek, et al.

[Note: The study involved nearly 10,000 patients seen by a large academic medical center’s cardiovascular service, ages 43-73, average age 58, whose serum vitamin D levels were tested and survival tracked. 70% of the patients tested vitamin D deficient – and 31.6% of those took a supplement, vs. 21.3% of patients with normal D levels. Amounts of supplementation are unknown, suggesting studies to determine any dose-based differences in survival stats.]

Recent evidence supports an association between vitamin D deficiency and hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, coronary artery disease, and heart failure. The effect of vitamin D supplementation, however, has not been well studied.

We examined the associations between vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D supplementation, and patient outcomes in a large cohort.

Serum vitamin D measurements for 5 years and 8 months from a large academic institution were matched to patient demographic, physiologic, and disease variables. The vitamin D levels were analyzed as a continuous variable and as normal (30 ng/ml or more) or deficient (less than 30 ng/ml).

Descriptive statistics, univariate analysis, multivariate analysis, survival analysis, and Cox proportional hazard modeling were performed.

Of 10,899 patients, the mean age was 58 +/- 15 years [ages 43 to 73], 71% were women (n = 7,758), and the average body mass index was 30 +/- 8 kg/m(2).

The mean serum vitamin D level was 24.1 +/- 13.6 ng/ml.

Of the 10,899 patients:

• 3,294 (29.7%) were in the normal vitamin D range

• And 7,665 (70.3%) were deficient.

Vitamin D deficiency was associated with several cardiovascular-related diseases, including:

• Hypertension,

• Coronary artery disease,

• Cardiomyopathy, and

• Diabetes (all p <0.05). Vitamin D deficiency was a strong independent predictor of all-cause death (odds ratios 2.64, 95% confidence interval 1.901 to 3.662, p <0.0001) after adjusting for multiple clinical variables. [Risk 164% greater, or more than 2.6 times as great.] Vitamin D supplementation conferred substantial survival benefit (odds ratio for death 0.39, 95% confidence interval 0.277 to 0.534, p <0.0001). [Risk reduced by 61%.] In conclusion: • Vitamin D deficiency was associated with a significant risk of cardiovascular disease and reduced survival. • Vitamin D supplementation was significantly associated with better survival, specifically in patients with documented deficiency. [Note: To read a the full text PDF of this article, click HERE.]

Source: American Journal of Cardiology, Feb 2012;109(3):359-63. PMID:22071212, by  Vacek JL, Vanga SR, Good M, Lai SM, Lakkireddy D, Howard PA. Mid America Cardiology, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center and Hospital, Kansas City, Kansas, USA. []

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