Studies examine vitamin D intake, cardiovascular risk

by Jeff Gelski
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ELK GROVE VILLAGE, ILL. — Two studies, both examining vitamin D intake in children and its effect on cardiovascular risk factors, appeared on-line the same day, Aug. 3, in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Deficiency of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25{OH]D) is common in the general U.S. pediatric population and is associated with adverse cardiovascular risk, according to one study titled "Prevalence and Association of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Deficiency in U.S. Children: NHANES 2001-2004." Researchers used a nationally representative sample of children age 1 to 21 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2004.

They found 9% of the pediatric population, or 7.6 million U.S. children and adolescents, were 25(OH)D deficient, and 61%, or 50.8 million U.S. children and adolescents, were 25(OH)D insufficient. Only 4% had taken 400 International Units (I.U) of vitamin D per day for the past 30 days.

After multivariable adjustment, 25(OH)D deficiency was associated with elevated parathyroid hormone levels, higher systolic blood pressure, lower serum calcium, and lower high-density lipoprotein children (H.D.L. or "good" cholesterol). The study involved researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y.; the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta.

The other study was titled "Vitamin D Status and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in the United States Adolescent Population." It concluded low serum vitamin D in U.S. adolescents is associated strongly with hypertension, hyperglycemia and metabolic syndrome, independent of adiposity.

Researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 3,577 fasting, non-pregnant adolescents without diagnosed diabetes who participated in NHANES 2001-2004. The study involved researchers from the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore and the University of California in San Diego.

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