Previous studies have hinted that low levels of vitamin D in the body may be associated with a higher risk of heart disease. A ten-year study from Seattle suggests, however, that this connection does not hold true in all ethnic groups.
More than 6,000 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis had blood levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D measured at the beginning of a decade of follow-up. The scientists found a significant link between low vitamin D levels and subsequent heart disease among Chinese and white study subjects, but there was no clear association between vitamin D and heart disease in Hispanic or African-American volunteers.
Studies that are currently underway (including the VITAL study out of Harvard) will hopefully tell us more about the relationship between vitamin D and heart disease in various ethnic populations. In the meantime, we offer information on vitamin D and its association with a wide range of health concerns in our Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency.