Low vitamin D levels may raise the risk of heart disease

October 1, 2012

A study published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology shows that people with low levels of vitamin D may have a higher risk for heart attacks and early death.

The researchers studied 10,170 men and women from Denmark. The study compared people with the 5% lowest levels of vitamin D with the 50% of the highest levels of vitamin D. The Copenhagen City Heart Study measured vitamin D levels in blood samples from 1981 to 1983. Researchers tracked those on the registries up to the present.

The study found the low levels of vitamin D compared to optimal levels were linked to a 40% higher risk of ischemic heart disease, 64% higher risk of heart attack, 57% higher risk of early death, and no less than 81% higher risk of death from heart disease. While the researchers were unable to prove a causal relationship, they did conclude that there is a strong statistical correlation between a low level of vitamin D and high risk of heart disease and early death.