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Vitamin D deficiency doubles heart disease risk
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Moderate vitamin D deficiency nearly doubles the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke and heart failure over a mean of 5.4 years in patients with high blood pressure, according to media reports Tuesday quoting Harvard researchers.

Researchers led by Dr. Thomas Wang of Harvard Medical School in Boston followed 1,739 people, average age 59, for 5 years. The people in this study were offspring of original participants in the long-running Framingham Heart Study centered in Massachusetts, and had no prior history of cardiovascular disease.

Wang and colleagues wanted to know whether vitamin D levels in the Framingham offspring from the 1996-2001 exams were correlated with the rate of first cardiovascular events occurring later.

Research indicated that those with low vitamin D levels had about a 60 percent higher risk of a cardiovascular event like heart attack, heart failure or stroke compared to those with higher levels, even with well-known cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure taken into account.

The risk for heart attack, heart failure or stroke was double in people with both high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and vitamin D deficiency, the researchers said.

The researchers also adjusted for such factors as age, gender, smoking and diabetes status, weight, and cholesterol levels in their statistical analyses.

(Agencies via Xinhua News Agency January 8, 2008)

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