Lack of vitamin D raises risk of heart disease and worsens prognosis for some cancers

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 10 January 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:62
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    Vitamin D deficiency is well known to be associated with osteoporosis, but two studies published this week have shown that lack of the “sunshine vitamin” also increases the risk of heart disease and is linked to poorer prognosis for some cancers.

    A follow-up study of 1739 offspring of the original participants in the Framingham heart study, with no cardiovascular disease, showed that those with low concentrations of vitamin D (below 15 ng/ml) had twice the risk of a first cardiovascular event, such as a myocardial infarction, heart failure or stroke, in the five years from baseline than those with higher concentrations (Circulation doi: 10.1161.circulationaha.107.706127).

    After adjusting for the usual cardiovascular risk factors, including high cholesterol concentrations, diabetes, and hypertension, the researchers found that risk of a cardiovascular event remained 62% higher …

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