An article in the American Journal of Epidemiology, October 15, 2009 found that low vitamin D levels are linked to higher rates of death from heart disease or stroke.
The study was a long-term look at the health of 2,817 men and 3,402 women in Finland. At the beginning of the study period, participants were 49 years old on average and had no indicators of cardiovascular disease. They were followed for an avergae of 27 years, during which time 640 of the participants (358 of them men) died from heart disease and another 293 (122 of them men) died from stroke.
Those with the lowest blood levels of Vitamin D had a 25 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease or stroke when compared to the group with the highest blood levels of Vitamin D.
There was an especially notable link between vitamin D levels and stroke deaths, according to the Finnish researchers, in that having the lowest vitamin D seemed to confer about twice the risk stroke death, compared with having the highest vitamin D.
This study, we believe, provides still more evidence of the importance of assessing Vitamin D deficiency, and counteracting deficiency with remedies such as supplementing. Vitamin D is very inexpensive and has a well-characterized safety profile, so a simple supplementation strategy could have a major impact on long-term health.