ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
CANCER
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
CAREGIVING
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Vitamin D Vital for the Heart
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
Walkable Neighborhoods Keep the Pounds Off
EYE CARE, VISION
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
FITNESS
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Risk Factor for Stroke More Common Among Whites
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
MEN'S HEALTH
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The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
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Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease

(HealthDay News) -- If your levels of vitamin D are too low, you may be at significantly increased risk for stroke, heart disease and death, a new study suggests.

Researchers followed 27,686 people, aged 50 and older, with no history of cardiovascular disease. The participants were divided into three groups based on their vitamin D levels: normal (more than 30 nanograms per milliliter), low (15 to 30 nanograms per milliliter), or very low (less than 15 nanograms per milliliter).

After one year of follow-up, those with very low levels of vitamin D were 77 percent more likely to die, 45 percent more likely to develop coronary artery disease and 78 percent more likely to have a stroke, and twice as likely to develop heart failure compared to people with normal vitamin D levels, the researchers found.

"We concluded that among patients 50 years of age or older, even a moderate deficiency of vitamin D levels was associated with developing coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke and death," study co-author Heidi May, an epidemiologist with the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, said in a news release from the center.

"This is important because vitamin D deficiency is easily treated. If increasing levels of vitamin D can decrease some risk associated with these cardiovascular diseases, it could have a significant public health impact. When you consider that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America, you understand how this research can help improve the length and quality of people's lives," May added.

Because this was an observational study, a definitive link between vitamin D levels and heart disease couldn't be established, but the findings point to the need for further research, said study co-author Dr. Brent Muhlestein, director of cardiovascular research at Intermountain's Heart Institute.

"We believe the findings are important enough to now justify randomized treatment trials of supplementation in patients with vitamin D deficiency to determine for sure whether it can reduce the risk of heart disease," Muhlestein said in the news release.

The study was to be presented Monday at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Vitamin D is obtained from sunlight and by consuming fatty fish or fortified dairy products, including milk.

SOURCES: Intermountain Medical Center, news release, Nov. 16, 2009 Published on: November 16, 2009