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More severe heart disease found in patients with vitamin D deficiency
Date:3/27/2014

gest vitamin D deficiency to be the cause rather than the consequence of atherosclerosis," said Monica Verdoia, M.D., specializing cardiologist at the Department of Cardiology, Ospedale Maggiore della Carit, Eastern Piedmont University in Novara, Italy, and investigator on the study on behalf of the Novara Atherosclerosis study group by Prof. Giuseppe De Luca. "Although evidence of benefits with vitamin D supplementation in cardiovascular outcomes are still lacking, strategies to raise endogenous vitamin D should probably be advised in the prevention of cardiovascular disease."

A diet rich in vitamin D and moderate exercise outdoors should be advised in both patients with and without cardiovascular disease, Verdoia said. Vitamin D acts as a regulator on the function of the immune system as well as inflammatory processes that contribute to risk factors for heart disease, she said.

Verdoia said the importance of the study is to provide deeper insight into stratification tools for assessing the risk of coronary artery disease in a real world population, where vitamin D deficiency has a dramatic prevalence. She stresses the need to make funding a priority in the research on vitamin D in cardiovascular prevention. The research team plans to proceed with clinical trials evaluating the treatment of vitamin D deficiency and to investigate the mechanisms by which vitamin D can influence the development of atherosclerosis.

Researchers estimate that more than half of U.S. adults are vitamin D deficient, with the highest rates among African Americans and Hispanics. Vitamin D is being studied for its possible connection to several diseases and health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune conditions, bone disorders and some types of cancer.

A limitation of the study is that researchers did not evaluate the long-term outcomes for study patients, so it is unknown whether those with lower vitamin D level
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Contact: Beth Casteel
bcasteel@acc.org
202-375-6275
American College of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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