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Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
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Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
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Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
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Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
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Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
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Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
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Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
With Alzheimer's, Health-Care Costs Could Triple
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Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
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The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
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Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
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Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
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School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Eating your way to Good Health
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
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Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
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U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
Hurricane Threats: Time to Batten Down the Hatches
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
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When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
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Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
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Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take
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Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
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Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
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Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
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Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
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Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
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Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
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Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
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Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
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PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
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Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
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SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Therapies for Menopause
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
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Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure

(HealthDay News) -- Low blood levels of vitamin D in younger women tripled their risk of high blood pressure 15 years later, new research has found.

Vitamin D deficiency, defined as less than 80 nanomoles per liter of blood, was measured in 1993 at the start of the Michigan Bone Health and Metabolism Study, explained study author Flojaune C. Griffin, a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

By that measure, more than 80 percent of the 559 women first tested in the study had vitamin D deficiency, while 2 percent were being treated for high blood pressure and another 4 percent had undiagnosed high blood pressure.

No association between vitamin D levels and high blood pressure was seen at that time. But in 2008, when 19 percent of the women had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and 6 percent had the condition but didn't know it, the incidence of high blood pressure was three times higher for women who had vitamin D deficiency at the study's start, after adjusting for the effects of age, obesity and smoking, Griffin said.

Griffin was to report on the findings Thursday at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research Conference in Chicago.

What happened to the women in the intervening years in terms of vitamin D intake is unknown, Griffin said. "We don't have any information about how the women were eating beyond that baseline measurement," she noted.

The recommended intake of vitamin D has risen since the study began. Current guidelines call for an intake of 400 International Units (IU) for people under 60 and 600 IUs for those aged 60 and older, Griffin said.

"Exposure of skin to the sun is the most potent way to increase vitamin D levels," she added. "The main food sources include fatty fish, such as wild salmon. Also, milk and milk products are fortified with vitamin D."

There is no way of knowing whether increased vitamin D intake over the years might have affected the incidence of high blood pressure, a major risk factor for such cardiovascular problems as heart attack and stroke, Griffin said.

"This study underscores a growing amount of accumulated data that low vitamin D levels are associated with high blood pressure," said Dr. John P. Forman, an associate physician in the renal division of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

But it's still not certain that raising vitamin D intake can help prevent high blood pressure, Forman added. "We need large randomized trials on that," he said.

Still, he noted, "there are a growing number of studies associating lower vitamin D levels and high blood pressure. This one probably has the longest follow-up."

SOURCES: Flojaune C. Griffin, MPH, doctoral candidate, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor; John P. Forman, M.D., professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, and associate physician, renal division, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston; Sept. 24, 2009, presentation, American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Research Conference, Chicago