An important cause of heart disease has been found

Credit: Jesse Orrico / Unsplash

Scientists from the University of South Australia recently found that when you’re down on this essential nutrient, it’s not only your bones that could suffer but also your cardio health.

They found genetic evidence for the role of vitamin D deficiency in causing heart disease.

The team showed that people with vitamin D deficiency are more likely to suffer from heart disease and higher blood pressure than those with normal levels of vitamin D.

For participants with the lowest concentrations, the risk of heart disease was more than double that seen for those with sufficient concentrations.

Globally, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death worldwide, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives per year. Low concentrations of vitamin D are common in many parts of the world.

In the study, the team estimate that 4.4 percent of all CVD cases could have been prevented by increasing vitamin D-deficient individuals to levels of at least 50 nmol/L,

They used information from up to 267,980 individuals which allowed the team to provide robust statistical evidence for the link between vitamin D deficiency and CVD.

The team says deficiency can be a problem for people living in residential care who may have limited exposure to the sun.

They can also get vitamin D from food, including oily fish, eggs, and fortified foods and drinks. But food is unfortunately a relatively poor source of vitamin D, and even an otherwise healthy diet does not typically contain enough.

The team says understanding the connection between low levels of vitamin D and CVD is especially important, given the global prevalence of this deadly condition.

The research was published in European Heart Journal and conducted by Prof Elina Hyppönen et al.

If you care about heart health, please read studies that yogurt may help lower the death risks in heart disease, and coconut sugar could help reduce artery stiffness.

For more information about health, please see recent studies that Vitamin D deficiency can increase heart disease risk, and results showing vitamin B6 linked to lower death risk in heart disease.

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