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Nutritional diseases

Low and high levels of vitamin D associated with cardiovascular deaths, study suggests

Vitamin D (polarised micrograph pictured) protect against falls and osteoporotic fractures and has various other purported health benefits but may be associated with  cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, study suggests

Source: Eva-Maria Pasieka/Corbis

Low or high levels of vitamin D (polarised micrograph pictured) may be associated with cardiovascular disease mortality

Vitamin D protects against falls and osteoporotic fractures and has various other purported health benefits, including protection against cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. This has not been conclusively demonstrated, however.

A study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (online, 24 February 2015)[1] suggests that serum levels of vitamin D have a complicated, non-linear, reverse-J-shaped association with CVD mortality. Analysis of nearly 250,000 Danish patients in primary practice, followed-up for seven years, found that CVD mortality risk was lowest at a vitamin D level of 70nmol/L (the mean level for the entire cohort was 49.5nmol/L).

CVD mortality risk was significantly increased at both the lower extreme (~12.5nmol/L) and the higher extreme (~125nmol/L), with adjusted hazard ratios of 2.0 and 1.3, respectively. Whether or not the association is causal is still to be determined.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068137

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