Bloomberg News

Vitamin D Deficiency Raises Risk of Heart Failure, Study Says

November 29, 2011

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Women who don’t get enough vitamin D, found in sunshine, fish and fortified foods including milk and orange juice, have a higher chance of heart failure and stroke than those with sufficient amounts, a Danish study found.

Researchers observed 2,016 healthy women ages 45 to 58 for 16 years, characterizing low vitamin D as levels less than 20 nanograms per milliliter. Of the women with the deficiency, 15 percent had heart failure, heart attack, stroke or died, compared with 10 percent of those with adequate amounts, according to the study released today at the American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Florida.

“Healthy women with vitamin D insufficiency have a significantly increased risk of adverse cardiovascular outcome,” wrote the researchers, led by Louise Schierbeck of Hvidovre Hospital in Denmark.

The research builds on data from a 2008 study that showed men with low levels of vitamin D may have an increased risk for heart attacks. It also adds to evidence of the vitamin’s broader health benefits. Researchers have reported vitamin D may be beneficial against diabetes and cancer.

The data presented today were from the Danish Osteoporosis Prevention Study. The researchers found that the 788 women with low vitamin D had greater risk factors such as high triglycerides and body mass index compared with those who received enough of the vitamin.

--Editors: Chris Staiti, Bruce Rule

To contact the reporter on this story: Meg Tirrell in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at

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