Doctors say more and more patients have a vitamin D deficiency.
Women with insufficient vitamin D levels are at higher risk of heart attack and stroke compared to women with normal levels, according to a new study reported in HealthDayNews.
The study followed 2,000 postmenopausal white women between the ages of 45 to 58. After tracking these women for 16 years, the study found that 788 of them had less vitamin D than is recommended by nutritionists.
Those 788 women had more risk factors for heart disease than the 1,225 women with healthy vitamin D levels, including higher levels of triglycerides and fasting glucose and a higher body mass index.
Approximately 15 percent of the 788 women with low vitamin D levels died or had a stroke, heart attack or heart failure during the course of the study, versus 10.2 percent of the women with normal levels.
Another study found patients that took 4,000 daily units of vitamin D for five days after a heart attack or heart failure had reduced levels of inflammation versus people who didn't take the supplement. The studies also found that high levels of vitamin D showed a correlation with reduced death rates from cardiovascular disease.