Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, 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
By
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

cholesterol lab test report
Article
Compressed heart
Article
 
heart rate graph
Article
Compressed heart
Article
 
empty football helmet
Article
Heart Valve
Video
 
eating blueberries
Article
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Slideshow
 
Inside A Heart Attack
SLIDESHOW
Omega 3 Sources
SLIDESHOW
 
Salt Shockers
SLIDESHOW
lowering blood pressure
SLIDESHOW