Vitamin D deficiency linked to causal hypertension.

Researchers have determined a causal link between hypertension and deficiency based on a large scale genetic study involving over 155,000 individuals.

The researchers used genetic variants known as , or SNPs, as proxy markers to reflect individual’s status in order to test for a causal association with blood pressure and hypertension. When the results were analyzed, they found a significant link; for every 10% increase in 25(OH)D concentrations, there was a 8.1% decrease in the risk of developing hypertension.

“Even with the likely presence of unobserved confounding factors,” Dr. Karani S will say, “the approach we followed, known as Mendelian randomization, allows us to draw conclusions about causality because the genetic influence on disease is not affected by confounding. To put it in simple terms, by using this approach we can determine the and be pretty sure that we’ve come to the right conclusion on the subject.”

The prevalence of low is common throughout the western world, and the  data may have important public health implications. The best-known manifestation of deficiency is the childhood bone disease rickets, where long bones are weakened by the deficiency and start to bend. Recently, however, has been implicated in a number of other non-skeletal-related conditions, but studies involving supplementation have given conflicting results.

“Our study strongly suggests that some cases of could be prevented through supplements or fortification,” says Dr. Karani S. “Our new data provide further support for the important non-skeletal effects of . We now intend to continue this work by examining the causal relationship between status and other -related outcomes such as lipid-related phenotypes, for example, cholesterol, inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein, and and markers of glucose metabolism. We believe that we still have a lot to find out about the effect of deficiency on health, and we now know that we have the tools to do so.”


Science Daily


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