Vitamin D and The Risk of Death….

August 22, 2008

While reviewing my journals…I again came across another study on Vitamin D but this time relating this vitamin to mortality or the risk of death in the general population.  This study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, August 15, 2008 issue.


Background  In patients undergoing dialysis, therapy with calcitriol or paricalcitol or other vitamin D agents is associated with reduced mortality. Observational data suggests that low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (25[OH]D) are associated with diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cancers. However, whether low serum 25(OH)D levels are associated with mortality in the general population is unknown.

Methods  We tested the association of low 25(OH)D levels with all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in 13 331 nationally representative adults 20 years or older from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) linked mortality files. Participant vitamin D levels were collected from 1988 through 1994, and individuals were passively followed for mortality through 2000.


  •  In cross-sectional multivariate analyses, increasing age, female sex, nonwhite race/ethnicity, diabetes, current smoking, and higher body mass index were all independently associated with higher odds of 25(OH)D deficiency (lowest quartile of 25(OH)D level, <17.8 ng/mL
  • while greater physical activity, vitamin D supplementation, and nonwinter season were inversely associated.
  • During a median 8.7 years of follow-up, there were 1806 deaths, including 777 from CVD.  compared with the highest quartile, being in the lowest quartile (25[OH]D levels <17.8 ng/mL) was associated with a 26% increased rate of all-cause mortality (mortality rate ratio, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.08-1.46) and a population attributable risk of 3.1%.
  • The adjusted models of CVD and cancer mortality revealed a higher risk, which was not statistically significant.

Conclusion  The lowest quartile of 25(OH)D level (<17.8 ng/mL) is independently associated with all-cause mortality in the general population.


Another reason for us to check our Vitamin D level.  All along I am right.  I have been a proponent of the wonders of Vitamin D and the perils of what Vitamin D Deficiency can do.

The best way again for us to avoid getting the lowest Vitamin D level is to eat foods rich in Vitamin D and to enjoy the sun as much as we can! The flesh of fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel aa well as fish liver oils are among the best sources of Vitamin D that we can get naturally.  I would not recommend supplements if we can avoid them.

Live Long… Enjoy the SUN!

2 Responses to “Vitamin D and The Risk of Death….”

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