Monday, April 4, 2011

Lack of vitamin D may stiffen arteries

Lack of vitamin D may stiffen arteries A lack of Vitamin D can lead to stiffer arteries and an inability of blood vessels to relax, making a heart attack more likely, U.S. researchers say. Dr. Ibhar Al Mheid of Emory University School of Medicine and Dr. Arshed Quyyumi, a professor of medicine and director of the Emory Cardiovascular Research Institute, obtained data from 554 Emory or Georgia Tech employees - average age 47 and generally healthy - who took part in the Center for Health Discovery and Well Being program. The researchers say the average level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D - a form of the vitamin reflecting diet as well as production in the skin - in participants' blood was 31.8 nanograms per milliliter. In this group, 14 percent had 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter - considered deficient - and 33 percent had less than 30 nanograms per milliliter levels - considered insufficient. "We found that people with vitamin D deficiency had vascular dysfunction comparable to those with diabetes or hypertension," Al Mheid says. The findings were presented at the annual American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans

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