Vitamin D is not linked to low blood pressure in older people

In a new study, researchers found vitamin D is not linked to low blood pressure on standing (orthostatic hypotension) in older adults.

The research was conducted by a team from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College. It is the largest study to date.

Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is a common chronic condition estimated to affect over 30% of older adults.

It is characterized as a big drop in blood pressure upon standing and has been linked to falls, fractures, and mortality.

Recent research has shown that vitamin D may have benefits for this condition.

Vitamin D is essential for bone metabolism and is thought to have beneficial health effects for muscle strength and health.

High levels of vitamin D deficiency exist in the older Irish population with 1 in 8 deficient and 1 in 4 deficient during the winter period due to the lack of any food fortification policy in Ireland.

In the study, the team examined the association of vitamin D status and vitamin D supplement intake with the prevalence of OH.

The team found older adults with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to be smokers, take high blood pressure medication and have higher levels of cardiovascular disorders compared to those with sufficient vitamin D status.

People with low vitamin D status were no more likely to have OH than those with normal vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D supplement use was not linked to OH.

The team says the finding is important as it is essential to know what is and is not linked to vitamin D when trying to devise and recommend intakes for the population-based on health outcomes.

Optimizing vitamin D status for bone health and muscle function is important in people with a high risk of OH.

The lead author of the study is Research Fellow at TILDA, Dr. Eamon Laird.

The study is published in the prestigious journal Hypertension.

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