March 31, 2023

New genetic proof for the position of vitamin D deficiency in leading to cardiovascular sickness

Free of charge from the sunlight, vitamin D provides a pure source for a person of the hormones critical to our bodies, in particular the bones. But when you are down on this important nutrient, it is not only your bones that could endure, but also your cardio health and fitness, in accordance to new analysis from the College of South Australia.

In the initially analyze of its variety, researchers from the UniSA’s Australian Heart for Precision Wellness at SAHMRI have determined genetic proof for a position of vitamin D deficiency in resulting in cardiovascular disorder.

The analyze, which is printed in European Heart Journal right now, shows that men and women with vitamin D deficiency are additional probably to put up with from heart disease and bigger blood pressure, than these with normal degrees of vitamin D. For members with the lowest concentrations the possibility of heart condition was far more than double that observed for people with enough concentrations.

Globally, cardiovascular ailments (CVDs) are the major induce of demise globally, getting an believed 17.9 million life for every yr. In Australia, CVD accounts for a single in four fatalities and costs the Australian economic system 5 billion dollars each and every yr, extra than any other disorder.

Minimal concentrations of vitamin D are popular in a lot of pieces of the globe, with knowledge from the Uk Biobank demonstrating that 55 for each cent of contributors have reduced concentrations of vitamin D (<50 nmol/L) and 13 per cent have severe deficiency (<25 nmol/L).

Low levels of vitamin D are recorded by an estimated 23 per cent of people in Australia, 24 per cent of people in the US, and 37 per cent of people in Canada.

Chief investigator, UniSA’s Prof Elina Hyppönen says appreciating the role of vitamin D deficiency for heart health could help reduce the global burden of cardiovascular disease.


Severe deficiency is relatively rare, but in settings where this does occur it is very important to be proactive and avoid negative effects on the heart. For example, deficiency can be a problem for people living in residential care who may have limited exposure to sun.”


Elina Hyppönen, Professor, University of South Australia


“We can also get vitamin D from food, including oily fish, eggs and fortified foods and drinks. This said, food is unfortunately a relatively poor source of vitamin D, and even an otherwise healthy diet does not typically contain enough.

“If we don’t get any vitamin D through the sun, this is one of the rare nutrients for which we sometimes need to take a daily supplement to keep up with the requirements.

“Understanding the connection between low levels of vitamin D and CVD is especially important, given the global prevalence of this deadly condition.

“Our results are exciting as they suggest that if we can raise levels of vitamin D within norms, we should also affect rates of CVD. In our study population, by increasing vitamin D-deficient individuals to levels of at least 50 nmol/L, we estimate that 4.4 per cent of all CVD cases could have been prevented.”

This large-scale Mendelian study used a new genetic approach that allowed the team to assess how increasing levels can affect CVD risk based on how high the participants actual vitamin D levels were. The study used information from up to 267,980 individuals which allowed the team to provide robust statistical evidence for the link between vitamin D deficiency and CVD.

“It is not ethical to recruit people with vitamin D deficiency to a randomised controlled trial and to leave them without treatment for long periods. Prof Hyppönen says.

“It is exactly this type of difficult setting which demonstrates the power of our genetic approach, given we can show how improving concentrations affects the risk in those most in need, without exposing participants to any harm.

“Those with the lowest concentrations are likely to have the strongest effects, yet a population-wide approach to eradicate vitamin D deficiency could reduce the global burden of CVDs.”


University of South Australia

Journal reference:

Zhou, A., et al. (2021) Non-linear Mendelian randomization analyses support a role for vitamin D deficiency in cardiovascular disease risk. European Heart Journal.