Low Vitamin D, Cancer and Heart Disease

By Health Day

People who have very low levels of vitamin D seem to face a higher risk for dying from any number of illnesses new research reveals. In particular, very low vitamin D levels were linked to a higher risk of dying from heart disease and cancer although in the latter case, only among patients with a prior history of cancer.

The findings are based on a review of several studies, involving more than 26,000 patients between the ages of 50 and 79. Over the course of roughly 16 years, more than 2.600 died of heart disease while 2,200 died of cancer. Those with the lowest vitamin D levels appeared to have the biggest death risk compared with those with the highest levels of vitamin D.

The researchers say while the findings highlight a connection between low vitamin D and death risk they do not necessarily indicate a direct cause and effect. In fact, they say, the possibility exists that vitamin D levels actually plunge because of the onset of diseases like cancer rather than the other way around.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

This content requires the latest Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled. Click here for a free download of the latest Adobe Flash Player.