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New study suggests vitamin D reduces risk of heart attacks

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

There’s more research this month supporting a connection between higher vitamin D levels and a decreased risk of heart disease.

2008-12-03-heart-warming-tanningnews-copy.jpgResearchers from the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City have published a study showing that low levels of vitamin D double the risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiac events. The study will be published in the Dec. 9 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“This comes as the studies revealed that 50 percent of adults and 30 percent of children in the U.S. are considered to be vitamin D deficient,” web site — a health education forum — reported in a press release Tuesday.

Dr. James O’Keefe from the Mid American Heart Institute led the study, the latest in an avalanche of publications in the last 12 months connecting low vitamin D status with higher risks of cardiovascular-related difficulties.

Cells in heart tissue — like every other system in the body — have vitamin D receptors which have been shown to regulate the normal growth and proliferation of cells, a mechanism that is widely believed to be responsible for vitamin D’s apparent role in heart health.