COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- People with low levels of vitamin D were associated with a higher risk of heart attack and early death, researchers at the University of Copenhagen said.
Dr. Peter Brondum-Jacobsen of Copenhagen University Hospital and the University of Copenhagen said the study involved more than 10,000 Danes. The study compared people with the 5 percent lowest levels of vitamin D with the 50 percent of the highest levels of vitamin D.
The Copenhagen City Heart Study measured vitamin D levels in blood samples from 1981 to 1983. Researchers tracked those on the registries up to the present.
The study found the low levels of vitamin D compared to optimal levels were linked to a 40 percent higher risk of ischemic heart disease, 64 percent higher risk of heart attack, 57 percent higher risk of early death and no less than 81 percent higher risk of death from heart disease.
"With this type of population study, we are unable to say anything definitive about a possible causal relationship. But we can ascertain that there is a strong statistical correlation between a low level of vitamin D and high risk of heart disease and early death," Brondum-Jacobsen said in a statement.
The findings were published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.