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Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With an Increased Risk of Peripheral Arterial Disease
Date:4/16/2008

American Heart Association meeting report

Abstract 19

Study highlights:

-- Low levels of vitamin D were associated with an increased prevalence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in a study that analyzed data from a national survey.

-- The researchers feel this needs further study and do not recommend people start taking vitamin D supplements unless they are recommended by their doctors.

-- The American Heart Association recommends that healthy people get adequate nutrients by eating a variety of foods in moderation, rather than by taking supplements.

ATLANTA, April 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Low levels of vitamin D may be associated with an increased risk for peripheral arterial disease (PAD), researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Annual Conference 2008.

Results of the study will also be simultaneously published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association.

PAD occurs when arteries in the legs become narrowed or clogged with fatty deposits, reducing blood flow to the legs. PAD affects about 8 million Americans and is associated with significant disease and death, according to the American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics - 2008 Update.

Vitamin D, or 25-hydroxyl vitamin D, is converted by the body to a hormone that makes bones stronger. Severe vitamin D deficiency can cause diseases such as rickets in children. Scientists are only beginning to explore the relationship between 25-hydroxyl vitamin D and cardiovascular disease.

"In animals, vitamin D has anti-inflammatory activity," said Michal Melamed, M.D., M.H.S., lead author of the study and assistant professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

"In addition, in mice, vitamin D is a regulator
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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