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Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol
Scientists have known for some time that a lack of vitamin D is linked to a number of serious chronic illnesses. Diabetes and dementia have been linked to a lack of the vitamin, as has cardiovascular disease in many forms. The exact mechanism by which vitamin D deficiency causes or aggravates existing disease is unclear, however.
New research by scientists at the University of Washington in Seattle has found that patients with low-levels of the nutrient as detected by a vitamin D test were 38 percent more likely to suffer new-onset coronary artery calcification over the three years of the study follow-up
Coronary artery calcification is a hardening of the arteries detectable by the presence of calcium on CT scans.
"These results suggest that accelerated development of coronary atherosclerosis may underlie, in part, the increased cardiovascular risk associated with vitamin D deficiency," the authors wrote, also noting that the link was independent of other well-known risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as blood pressure, diabetes and inflammation found by CRP testing.
All this suggests that vitamin D may affect the risk of heart disease through a unique biological pathway.
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