Men deficient in vitamin D seem to have a higher risk of heart attacks than men whose blood levels of vitamin D are adequate. Medical records and blood samples of 454 men between the ages of 40 and 75 who had fatal or nonfatal heart attacks between January 1993 and January 2004 were compared with 900 men who had no history of cardiovascular disease.
The vitamin D connection remained significant even after researchers adjusted for such heart disease risk factors as family history of heart attacks, body mass index, alcohol consumption, physical activities, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, omega 3 intake and ethnicity. The study was conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The results suggest that current recommendations for vitamin D intake need to be increased to boost blood levels of vitamin D high enough to benefit health, the authors said. The study showed that men whose blood levels of vitamin D were 15 nanograms per milliliter or less were at increased risk. Sufficient blood levels of vitamin D were 30 nanograms per milliliter or more.