Heart failure 12 times more likely in people with vitamin D deficiency

By Tim Cutcliffe contact

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/ Boarding1Now
© iStock/ Boarding1Now
More trials are needed to test vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of heart disease, say researchers behind a new study showing heart failure among the elderly is strongly associated with vitamin D deficiency.

The risk of heart failure (HF) was more than 12 times higher in elderly vitamin D-deficient subjects than in those with adequate status, reported the researchers from the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil.

Vitamin D deficiency presented a higher risk factor for HF than obesity or heart arrhythmia in a study of 137 elderly Brazilian cardiac outpatients.

“The risk of HF was present in more than half of the elderly and was strongly associated with vitamin D deficiency,”​ concluded first author Catarina Magalhães Porto, writing in ESC Heart Failure​.

Vitamin D deficiency threshold in this study was defined as <30 nanogrammes/millilitre (ng/ml) (75 nanomoles/ litre (nmol/l)). (This contrasts with a more widely recognised deficiency definition of 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/l) with the range between these two levels classed as ‘insufficency’).

The findings present more evidence of the importance of adequate vitamin D status in the elderly for cardiovascular benefits as well as bone health.

“Based on the evidence presented in this study, which is supported by the literature, the high percentage of elderly individuals with vitamin D deficiency and its consequences for increased risk of HF suggest a need of dosage recommendations for this vitamin, especially in primary healthcare services,” ​recommended Porto.

These results are consistent with an earlier study  reported by NutraIngredients​ which found an association between vitamin D supplementation and lower risk of heart failure.

Possible Mechanism

As the study was observational (cross-sectional design), the researchers could not establish a causal effect of vitamin D deficiency on HF. Nevertheless, they suggested that lower HF risk might arise from vitamin D’s ability to suppress the inflammatory response, an established factor in heart failure pathogenesis.

The size of this observational study was relatively small and the researchers proposed that further work was needed to strengthen the evidence base with a view to eventual clinical trials.

“The low cost of its supplementation and the possibility of preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases point to the need for more studies on the supplementation with vitamin D in prospective cohort, so that the conduct of supplementation is implanted with a solid base of evidence,” ​they wrote.

Source: ESC Heart Failure
Published online: 10.1002/ehf2.12198
“Association between vitamin D deficiency and heart failure risk in the elderly”
Authors: Catarina Magalhães Porto, Vanessa De Lima Silva et al

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2 comments

Sunlight is the key to stopping heart failure

Posted by Marc Sorenson,

It has been known for many years that heart failure is seasonal, occurring much more frequently in winter than summer in nearly all countries. It is already established that vitamin D deficiency is closely associated with heart failure. The answer lies in the fact that sun exposure is only natural way to obtain vitamin D, and we are being frightened out of the sunlight. Because of this, we can expect heart failure rates to continue rising.
Most people have been misled regarding sun exposure. Here are a few facts:
•A 20-year Swedish study shows that sun avoidance is as bad for the health as cigarette smoking.
•A Spanish study shows that women who seek the sun have one-eleventh the hip-fracture risk as those who avoid sun.
•Men who work outdoors have half the risk of melanoma as those who work indoors.
•Women who avoid the sun have 10-times the risk of breast cancer as those who embrace the sun.
•Women who sunbathe regularly have half the risk of death during a 20-year period compared to those who stay indoors.
•Sun exposure increases nitric oxide production, which leads to a decrease in heart disease risk.
•Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is essential to human survival, and sun exposure is the only natural way to obtain it. Sunbathing can produce up to 20,000 units of vitamin D in 20 minutes of whole-body exposure around noon.
•Sun exposure dramatically improves mood through the production of serotonin and endorphin.
• Sun exposure increases the production of BDNF, which is vital to human health.
For articles see the Sunlight Institute website: http://sunlightinstitute.org/

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Nutraingredients. Vit D 3

Posted by Christina A Johnson,

I was found to be deficient in vit d 3 after an open fracture of my ankle. I am 69 years old and have always been very active and always making good choices for meals. I weigh 125lbs at 5'4". I have horses and many other pets.
My shoulders became painfull xmas 2014 and eventually had stem cell treatment April 28 th 2017. I fell down the stairs April 30 th Painkillers may have been responsible for that but Vit D 3 or the lack of maybe responsible for osteoporosis of my neck spine and shoulders. I am convinced that that was initiated by an inflamitory response to overwork of some muscles.

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