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New study links excessive amounts of vitamin D to onset of atrial fibrillation
Date:11/16/2011

SALT LAKE CITY While previous studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, new research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute shows that too much vitamin D can lead to the onset of a dangerous heart condition known as atrial fibrillation.

Researchers at Intermountain Medical Center, the flagship facility for the Intermountain Healthcare system, studied more than 132,000 patients and found the risk of developing atrial fibrillation was two and a half times greater in those with excess levels of vitamin D compared to patients with normal levels.

Results of the study will be presented on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Fla.

Atrial fibrillation is a condition in which the heart's upper chambers quiver instead of beating rhythmically, which can cause blood to pool and clot. Atrial fibrillation has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, heart attack, dementia and even Alzheimer's disease.

T. Jared Bunch, MD, a heart rhythm specialist at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute and lead investigator on the study, says the findings are significant because so many Americans use vitamin supplements to promote their health.

"There are both benefits and harm to taking vitamin supplements of all kinds," says Dr. Bunch. "Our goal is to determine a safe dose and usage range so patients can understand what amount is healthy, and what amount may be toxic."

To determine if there is a correlation between too much vitamin D and increased heart risk, Dr. Bunch and his colleagues examined blood tests from 132,000 patients in the Intermountain Healthcare database at Intermountain Medical Center.

Patients did not have any known history of atrial fibrillation, and all had previously received a vitamin D assessment as part of their routine care. Patients were then placed into categori
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Contact: Jennifer Barrett
jennifer.barett@imail.org
801-408-2182
Intermountain Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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