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Researchers redefine vitamin D deficiency

Researchers redefine vitamin D deficiency
Researchers analyzed data from more than 230,000 patients and found a new, lower threshold for deficiency when it comes to cardiac risk.

Researchers believe they’ve identified the specific level of vitamin D deficiency linked to increased cardiac risk.

J. Brent Muhlestein, MD, co-director of cardiovascular research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, led the team of researchers that analyzed data from over 230,000 patients.

"Although vitamin D levels above 30 were traditionally considered to be normal, more recently, some researchers have proposed that anything above 15 ng/ml was a safe level. But the numbers hadn't been backed up with research until now," Muhlestein said in a release from the Heart Institute." Even if any level above 15 is safe, one out of 10 people still have vitamin D levels lower than that. This equates to a very large percentage of our population,” he said.

The study is important because it helps target which patients might best benefit from vitamin D supplements. "Even though there's a possibility that patients may benefit in some way from achieving higher blood levels of vitamin D, this new information tells us the greatest benefit to the heart will likely occur among patients whose vitamin D level is below 15 ng/ml,” said Muhlestein.

He presented the study findings at the 2015 American Heart Association Scientific Session in Orlando.

The 15 ng/ml level correlates with studies of the vitamin’s connection with brain health.

In research that found a link between low vitamin D levels and psychosis, newly diagnosed psychotics had a mean vitamin D level of 13.64 ng/ml.


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