NBC Nightly News (12/1, story 5, 0:25, Williams) reported that individuals "with low Vitamin D levels" may be "twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke," according to a study published in the Dec. 9 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Investigators "surveyed recent studies on the link between vitamin D deficiency and heart disease to come up with practical advice on screening and treatment," according to WebMD (12/1, Warner). A number of "researchers say a growing body of evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of heart disease and is linked to other, well-known heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes." In fact, "several...studies have shown that people with low vitamin D levels were twice as likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or other heart-related event during follow-up, compared with those with higher vitamin D levels." The researchers "concluded that vitamin D deficiency is much more common than previously thought, affecting up to half of adults and apparently healthy children in the U.S." Some "researchers say higher rates of vitamin D deficiency may be due in part to people spending more time indoors and efforts to minimize sun exposure through the use of sunscreens."
HealthDay (12/1, Edelson) added, "Recent data from the long-running Framingham Heart Study indicated that someone with vitamin D levels below 15 nanograms per milliliter of blood is twice as likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular problem within two years as someone with the recommended 20 nanograms per milliliter, the report said."