Vitamin D Deficiency Leads to Arterial Stiffness
According to a new study published by the Endocrine Society shows that Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to arterial stiffness in African American teens. Arterial stiffness is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
The study showed that teens who took 2,000 international units (IU) of Vitamin D supplement decreased in central arterial stiffness. This is good news for those teens that may later have a heart attack or stroke. If the diet and sun exposure is not adequate, the teens can take a supplement to help combat the risk factor, lessening their risks. This means the recommended levels of Vitamin D intake may need to be increased for this group.
Another study from the Health Behavior News Service shows that over the past two decades, Americans have cut their risk of dying from coronary heart disease (CHD) in half—through preventive measures such as those mentioned above.
Researchers found that by quitting smoking (or smoking less), watching cholesterol, and lowering their high blood pressure, Americans are only half as likely to die from a heart attack these days. And while treatment of heart disease helped, preventive measures showed the most drastic results. The treatments have not worked as well because patients often stop taking their medication or do not take them regularly enough to do much good.
Researchers are urging patients not to give up if diagnosed with CHD. There are ways to work on risk factors and decrease the chances of dying from a heart attack. By continuing to research areas such as the Vitamin D deficiency in African American teens and other ways to combat risk factors, there is increasing hope for patients with CHD.
Also, patients should continue to take their medication as directed by their physician. While it may not be as good as prevention at cutting the risks of death associated with a heart attack, it still has positive benefits and does impact the mortality rate.