The research team analyzed a diverse sample of 13,000 men and women
participating in an ongoing national health survey and compared the risk of
death between those with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D to those with
Over an average follow-up period of about nine years, 1,806 participants
died. The researchers found a 26% increased risk of death from any cause for
the quartile of participants with the lowest vitamin D levels compared to those
with the highest levels.
Analysis of the data did not find an association between vitamin D levels
and death from specific causes such as
heart disease or certain cancers.
"Our results make it much more clear that all men and women concerned
about their overall health should more closely monitor their blood levels of
vitamin D and make sure they have enough," says researcher Erin Michos, MD,
in a news release. Michos is an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine and its Heart and Vascular Institute.
To increase one's vitamin D, a person can get direct exposure to sunlight,
supplements, and eat foods rich in vitamin D including milk, salmon, cod
liver oil, mackerel, tuna or sardines canned in oil, egg yolks, and calf or