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Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases – medical practice

How Vitamin D Protects Heart Health

A low level of vitamin D in the body seems to increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The risk of cardiovascular diseases could therefore be reduced if an adequate vitamin D supply is ensured.

In a recent study involving experts from the University of South Australia (SAHMRI), it was found that a low vitamin D status is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The corresponding results were published in the English-language specialist journal “European Heart Journal” released.

Cardiovascular disease leading cause of death

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) cardiovascular diseases cause around 40 percent of all deaths in Germany and are thus the leading cause of death in this country. Cardiovascular diseases are associated with considerable individual consequences and also cause high social disease costs, reports the RKI.

Effects of Vitamin D on Heart Health?

In most of the so-called linear Mendelian randomization studies (MR) carried out so far, no effect of vitamin D on the risk of cardiovascular diseases could be determined, but a non-linear effect can by no means be ruled out, according to the experts involved in the new study.

The aim of the current study was therefore to apply the non-linear MR design to the relationship between the 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration [25(OH)D] to study in serum and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Such a non-linear MR analysis was carried out using 44,519 data sets from the UK Biobank.

The researchers included blood pressure and cardiac imaging-derived phenotypes as secondary results in their investigation. The 25 (OH) D concentration in serum was determined on the basis of 35 confirmed genome-wide significant variants, explains the team.

The experts also estimated the potential reduction in the incidence of cardiovascular disease that could be achieved by correcting low vitamin D status.

Effects of vitamin D on blood pressure

There was an L-shaped relationship between genetically predicted serum 25 (OH) D and the risk of cardiovascular disease, with the cardiovascular disease risk initially decreasing steeply with increasing concentrations and increasing at around 50 nmol / L leveled off, report the experts. A similar relationship was also found for the systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

In addition, the correction of the serum 25 (OH) D level below 50 nmol / L led to a predicted reduction in the incidence of cardiovascular disease by 4.4 percent (95 percent confidence interval: 1.8 to 7.3 percent).

Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of cardiovascular disease

From the results, the researchers draw the conclusion that a lack of vitamin D actually increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. It is therefore possible to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in society through a population-wide correction of the low vitamin D status.

Vitamin D can be produced by the human body itself, for this only requires the action of sunlight on the skin. In addition, vitamin D can also be absorbed through food such as fatty fish and eggs or specially fortified foods. Last but not least, if a vitamin D deficiency is found, it is possible to remedy this with high-dose vitamin D preparations, which, according to the new study results, could also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. (as)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.


  • Ang Zhou, Joseph B Selvanayagam, Elina Hyppönen: Non-linear Mendelian randomization analyses support a role for vitamin D deficiency in cardiovascular disease risk; in: European Heart Journal (veröffentlicht 05.12.2021), European Heart Journal
  • Robert Koch Institute (RKI): Cardiovascular diseases (as of 07/30/2020), RKI

Important NOTE:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.


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