Health Updates

The Importance of Vitamin D

The following information and research findings continue to support the benefits and importance of Vitamin D.

1. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD):

Lower Vit. D Levels Associated with Increased CAD Severity:
A study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session in April, 2014 reveals the finding of a correlation between declining Vit. D levels and increasing CAD severity in a study of Italian men and women.

The study included 1,484 subjects undergoing coronary angiography to evaluate arterial blood flow which is impaired among those with atherosclerosis.

Diameter reduction of 50% or more in at least one coronary artery was considered diagnostic of CAD.

Deficient serum Vit. D levels were uncovered in 70.4% of the subjects. The presence of CAD was 32% higher among those with Vit. D deficiency and nearly twice as high among subjects with severely deficient levels compared with those whose levels were normal.

2. Reduced Vitamin D Levels Correlate with Greater Risk of Fracture Among Women:

A study presented at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases which was held April, 2014 in Spain found a greater risk of fracture in older women with low levels of Vit. D measured over a five-year period compared to those with higher levels.

Of the 1,044 women aged 75 years at the current study’s initial visit, 715 attended the five year follow-up exam. Serum Vit. D levels measured at both visits were categorized as low, intermediate or high. Women whose Vit. D levels fell into the same category during both visits were considered to have consistently low, intermediate or high levels of Vit. D. The subjects were followed for 10 years during which time any fractures were documented.
While 20.6% of women whose Vit. D levels measured consistently low experienced hip fracture, they occurred in just 9.9 and 6.9% of those whose levels were consistently intermediate or high.

The study concludes that in the population sample of elderly women, Vit. D insufficiency sustained over five years was associated with increased 10-year risk of osteoporotic fracture.

3. Cognitive Function and Vitamin D:

Here are findings of the April, 2014 study of a protective effect for higher Vit. D levels against cognitive decline over a four-year period. The study is known as the Health, Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) study. Research was performed at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The current study included 2,777 well-functioning individuals between 70 to 79 years of age upon enrollment in the study.

Serum Vit. D, 25-Hydroxy levels were measured one year after enrollment and cognitive function was evaluated at the beginning of the study and at four years.
Sixty-eight percent of the subjects had low Vit. D levels of less than 30 mg/ml. The researchers observed an association between better cognitive test scores at the beginning of the study and higher Vit. D levels. When tests scores at the end of the four-year period were analyzed, a greater decline was noted in association with low levels of Vit. D.

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