November 16, 2010
1 min read

Prehypertension linked to low vitamin D

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American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2010

CHICAGO — Low serum vitamin D levels appear to be independently associated with the development of prehypertension, new data suggest.

Researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of 9,215 participants included in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III who were free of hypertension at baseline. Participants were divided into quartiles based on serum vitamin D levels. The main outcome of interest was prehypertension (n=3,712), which was defined as systolic blood pressure of 120 mm Hg to 139 mm Hg or diastolic BP of 80 mm Hg to 89 mm Hg.

According to the results, low serum vitamin D levels were associated with the development of prehypertension, independent of risk factors such as age, sex, race, smoking, alcohol intake, BMI, physical inactivity, diabetes, HDL ratio, C-reactive protein and glomerular filtration rate.

When compared with the highest quartile of serum vitamin D (>32.4 ng/mL), the odds of developing prehypertension were increased in the lowest quartile (≤17.7 ng/mL; OR=1.48; 95% CI, 1.16-1.90). On continuous analysis, each standard deviation decrease in vitamin D was associated with an odds ratio of 1.14 (95% CI, 1.05-1.24) of prehypertension.

“These findings are largely consistent with previous studies that examine the association [between low vitamin D levels] and prehypertension,” Charumath Sabanayagam, MD, PhD, of West Virginia University, said during his presentation.

The researchers concluded that future randomized trials are needed to determine if vitamin D supplementation during the prehypertension stage can prevent the onset of full-blown hypertension. – by Eric Raible

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