Vitamin D deficiency associated with increased risk of mortality

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A study of more than 300,000 adults in the United Kingdom found support for a causal relationship between vitamin D deficiency and mortality. These results indicate the need for public health strategies to maintain healthy vitamin D levels in the population. The study was published in Annals of internal medicine.

Low vitamin D levels have been associated with increased mortality, but mortality in the context of vitamin D deficiency remains unclear. Randomized controlled trials either fail to recruit people with severe deficits or are ethically unable to do so.

Researchers from the University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, conducted a non-linear Mendelian randomization study of 307,601 participants in the UK Biobank to assess genetic evidence for the causal role of low vitamin D status in mortality. The authors evaluated measurements of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-(OH) D) and other genetic data of the participants. They also recorded and analyzed data on all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Over a 14-year follow-up period, the authors found that the risk of death decreased significantly with increasing vitamin D concentrations, with the strongest effects seen in people with severe deficiency. They note that recent estimates of the prevalence of severe deficiency range from 5 to 50 percent of the population, with rates varying by geographic location and population characteristics.

According to the authors, their study supports the potential for a marked effect on premature death and the need for continued efforts to address vitamin D deficiency.


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Additional information:
Joshua P. Sutherland et al. Vitamin D deficiency increases mortality risk in UK Biobank, Annals of Internal Medicine (2022). DOI: 10.7326/M21-3324

Citation: Vitamin D deficiency linked to increased risk of mortality (October 25, 2022) Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-10-vitamin-d-deficiency-mortality.html

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