Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Vitamin D Deficiency May Hurt Heart

Low Blood Levels of Vitamin D Tied to Cardiovascular Problems in Adults With High Blood Pressure
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 7, 2008 -- Adults with hypertension (high blood pressure) may be more likely to have cardiovascular problems if they also have vitamin D deficiency.

Researchers report that news in today's advance online edition of Circulation.

Data came from 1,739 adults enrolled in the Framingham Offspring Study, a long-term health study based in Framingham, Mass.

Harvard Medical School's Thomas Wang, MD, and colleagues tracked participants with no history of heart problems who were 59 years old, on average.

Participants got their blood levels of vitamin D checked; 28% had vitamin D deficiency, including 9% with severe vitamin D deficiency.

By the end of the study period, 120 participants had had a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack, stroke, chest pain, heart failure, and peripheral claudication (pain in the legs caused by circulation problems).

People with vitamin D deficiency and hypertension were about twice as likely as people without hypertension and vitamin D deficiency to have a cardiovascular event during the study. Vitamin D deficiency wasn't linked to cardiovascular problems in people who don't have hypertension.

Other factors, including physical activity, age, gender, and type 2 diabetes, didn't explain the results. But Wang's team can't rule out other influences.

Wang's study was purely observational; participants weren't told to take vitamin D or to spend more time in the sun so that their bodies could make more vitamin D. The researchers call for other studies to see if treating vitamin D deficiency lowers heart risks.

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure