Patients with vitamin D levels in the normal range were compared with other groups to assess their risk of developing atrial fibrillation. In patients with low, low-normal, normal and high-normal levels of vitamin D there was no increased risk of atrial fibrillation. However, in those with excess levels of vitamin D there was a significant increased risk of atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation risk was two and a half times greater in patients with excess levels of vitamin D compared to those with normal levels.
The Institute of Medicine currently advises that healthy adults should be able to take as much as 4000 IU (international units) of vitamin D daily. But the reality is that doctors don't yet know how much vitamin D causes toxicity, which is why Dr. Bunch says communication between a patient and their healthcare provider is critical.
Vitamin D, which is synthesized by the body with exposure to sun, is used to regulate calcium and phosphate concentrations in the blood and is essential for growth and development, cellular health, and bone remodeling, a process where mature bone tissue is removed from the skeleton and new bone tissue is formed.
In regions where sun exposure may be limited, supplemental vitamin D may be required to maintain normal blood levels. The exact amount of vitamin D to achieve normal levels is unknown and usage varies in different regions and communities, which can cause problems, say the researchers.
Dr. Bunch stresses that patients need to tell their doctors about all of the vitamins and supplements they take, as well as all medications, in order to ensure they get the best care possible. He says this research also suggests that checking blood levels of vitamin D in patients that develop atrial fibrillatio
|Contact: Jennifer Barrett|
Intermountain Medical Center