No Link Between Vitamin-D Levels and Cardiovascular Mortality in Sunny California

December 16, 2010 | Michael O’Riordan/Heartwire
San Diego, CA (updated) – In southern California, where the sun shines year round, there is no association between serum levels of vitamin D, parathyroid hormone (which regulates the active metabolite of vitamin D), and cardiovascular mortality, according to the results of a new study [1]. Even after patients were stratified by kidney function, there was no association between serum vitamin-D levels and death from cardiovascular causes, report investigators.

To heartwire, lead investigator Dr Simerjot Jassal (University of California, San Diego) noted that previous trials testing whether or not vitamin D is beneficial have provided contradictory results and those that have suggested a benefit were observational in nature.

“Our study is also observational and therefore not definitive, as a trial of vitamin-D supplementation would be, but I believe it suggests that caution should be exercised before we make vitamin D the next supplement that will cure all our ailments,” she said. “We’ve seen other supplements receive initial positive press only to fail to demonstrate benefit in actual clinical trials.”

Hot topic with conflicting evidence

In the article, published in the December 2010 issue of the American Journal of Medicine, the researchers note that vitamin D is a hot topic in cardiovascular medicine these days, as well as in other research fields, generating a lot of public interest for its possible health benefits. Two recent reviews, reported by heartwire, found no consistent association between vitamin D and cardiovascular disease, however, and earlier this month a comprehensive report from the Institutes of Medicine, also covered by heartwire, concluded that there is “insufficient evidence” to suggest that low levels of vitamin D as well as calcium are associated with a range of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

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