Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Fatal CVD

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Vitamin D deficiency is much more strongly linked to fatal than nonfatal CV events (27% increased risk), as suggested by a large prospective study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The population–based cohort study enrolled 9949 adults aged 50 to 74 years recruited during regular health check–ups at primary–care practices in 2000 to 2002. There were more women than men (59% vs 41%); most participants (59%) had inadequate vitamin D levels (<50 nmol/L). Blood samples were collected at baseline, five, and eight years.

Mean follow–up was 9.2 years for mortality and 6.5 years for the end points of CVD, CHD, and stroke. A total of 854 patients had a nonfatal CVD event, 176 had a fatal CVD event, 460 had a nonfatal CHD event, 79 had a fatal CHD event, 313 had a nonfatal stroke, and 41 had a fatal stroke. Overall, the proportion of individuals who had no events was significantly lower among those with vitamin D deficiency.

Even after adjustment for other potential confounders, including smoking and physical activity, vitamin D deficiency still conferred a significant 27% increased risk for total CVD, and a 62% increased risk for fatal CVD.

There was no association between vitamin D deficiency and nonfatal CVD events. Individuals with low vitamin D levels also had a significant 36% increased risk of total CHD and a nonsignificant 33% increased risk of total stroke. (Source: Medscape Cardiology)