Recent clinical research suggests that the biological implications of vitamin D deficiency extend far beyond the control of calcium metabolism. Evidence is accumulating that low vitamin D levels are associated with a number of cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, myocardial infarction, hypertension, and heart failure.2
In this pilot study, researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio sought to assess the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum concentrations, dietary vitamin D intake and sunlight exposure in patients with heart failure compared with healthy volunteers.
During the course of the study, 14 healthy volunteers and 14 patients with heart failure completed the Nutrition Quest Block calcium/vitamin D screener which calculates the intake frequency of vitamin D and calcium-rich foods. Weekly sunlight exposure of the two groups was assessed via a series of questions. Blood samples were collected and analyzed for 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration. The body mass index (BMI) was also calculated for each study participant.
The results of this study revealed that serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations were not significantly different between healthy volunteers and heart failure patients, despite the finding that healthy volunteers were exposed to more weekly sunlight. Daily dietary intake of vitamin D and calcium was not found to significantly differ between healthy volunteers and heart failure patients. BMI was shown to be the only significant predictor of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations. Study results demonstrated that vitamin D deficiency was most prevalent in individuals with higher BMI. In fact, for every 5-unit rise in BMI, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration decreased by 2.8 ng/ml, on average. This association of BMI with 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration was present in healthy volunteers and heart failure patients.
- DiCarlo C, Schmotzer B, Vest M, Boxer R. Body Mass Index and 25 Hydroxyvitamin D Status in Patients With and Without Heart Failure. Congestive Heart Failure 2012;18:133-137.
- Nadir MA, Szwejkowski BR, Witham MD. Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Prevention. Cardiovascular Therapeutics 2010;28:e5-e12.