Low levels of total vitamin D and bio-available vitamin D can help predict a person's risk of major adverse cardiovascular events such as a heart attack, stroke, heart failure or death, according to a recent study.
"Our study found that low levels of both total vitamin D and bioavailable vitamin D appear to be associated with poor cardiovascular outcomes," said lead author Heidi May from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.
The study evaluated 4,200 participants between the ages of 52 and 76. A quarter of the study participants were diabetic and 70 percent had coronary artery disease.
The study tested many different types of vitamin D, but found that measuring total vitamin D and bioavailable vitamin D were the most accurate in predicting harmful cardiovascular events.
"This study is the first research that evaluates the association of vitamin D metabolites with cardiovascular events," said Dr. May. "And evaluating usable vitamin D could mean the difference on the amount of vitamin D prescribed, if it's prescribed at all."
The study expands on the results of several observational studies, including some performed at Intermountain Healthcare, but researchers recommend conducting more studies on non-Caucasian populations because past research shows vitamin D metabolites affect Caucasian and non-Caucasian races differently.
Results are presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions in Chicago.