Link Between Low Vitamin D Blood Levels and Heart Disease Varies by Race

Medical Xpress, July 9, 2013

Low vitamin D blood levels are linked to greater risk of heart disease in whites and Chinese, but not in blacks and Hispanics, according to a study appearing this week in JAMA, a journal published by the American Medical Association.

Growing evidence has suggested that low  of 25-hydroxyvitamin are associated with higher risk of developing  among whites. Few of these studies included substantial numbers of people from other races.

Vitamin D levels tend to be lower among people from other racial and ethnic minority groups, and some of these populations have higher rates of heart disease. However, after correcting for other  in their large, multi- group, the researchers reporting in the JAMA paper did not find an association between low vitamin D and  in their black and Hispanic .

“Our study suggests that the results of ongoing vitamin D clinical trials conducted in white populations should be applied cautiously to people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds,” said Cassianne Robinson-Cohen, the lead author for the JAMA paper. The senior author is Ian deBoer, University of Washington assistant professor of medicine, Division of Nephrology.


Robinson-Cohen noted that the findings in their recent JAMA paper came from an observational study, not a , and could not guarantee cause and effect.

“Our future studies will examine the genetics affecting the levels and use of Vitamin D in the body to try to figure out why the link between low vitamin D blood levels and heart disease varies by race and ethnicity,” she said. “We don’t know for sure, but perhaps genes affecting the need for and use of vitamin D could have evolved to adapt to different levels of sun exposure in places where various ethnic subgroups of people originated.”


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  • The__Bobster

    How much vitamin D does a body produce when it’s the color of a charcoal briquette?

  • JohnEngelman

    Heart disease is a social construct.

  • dd121

    Wait a minute, Hispanics are Asian. Just because the FBI includes them in white crime statistics doesn’t make it so.

    • The Amerindian element in Hispanics is “Asian”, but this study focused on Chinese, who tend to be of much lighter complexion than tropical Amerinds: Mayans, Aztecs, etc. The key elements in Vitamin D production are skin coloration and exposure to sunlight.

      • Sick of it

        And let’s not forget the African contribution to the Hispanic gene pool.

    • Bossman

      As I understand it, there are many differences between East Asians and American Indians. All the natives of the Americas have blood type “O” and most East Asians have blood type “A.”

  • bigone4u

    Because of miscegenation, the medical establishment is going to be busy for the next 100 years studying the health effects of being a half-breed person. For example: Would it make a difference if the father was white and the mother Hispanic, as opposed to a Messican father and a white mother? I would rather see those medical resources used to benefit everyone, such as finding a cure for cancer.

    • Sick of it

      Cures for cancer would not make pharmaceutical companies as much money as the treatments do. They have no financial incentive to cure cancer and, obviously, no compassion.

      • Cancer isn’t a single, unitary thing, so there will never be a universal cure for it, for this reason alone. We do know that human papilloma virus, which causes genital warts also causes cervical cancer in women, and there’s a vaccine out for that now. Curiously, some of the same conspiracy theorists who believe Big Medicine has been hiding a cure for cancer are also the ones who won’t have their daughters vaccinated against HPV.

        • Sick of it

          That may be because of the garbage put into vaccines, such as thimerosal. And then there’s the fact that only certain strains of HPV are targeted. The best cure for all STDs is abstinence, but I know that isn’t popular these days.

          • Thimerosal is a preservative which extends shelf-life. Yes, it is a mercury-containing compound, but it is metabolized into ethyl mercury and not methyl mercury. I would have used ethyl alcohol as a preservative, but it would require more of this, and it would denature the proteins in the vaccine, so that would raise the shelf-life problem again. Ethyl mercury is eliminated by the body much more quickly than methyl mercury. I’m demonstrably immune to most diseases, due to an overactive autoimmune system, which periodically tries to reject my irises. White people are the most disease-resistant sub-species. The last time I was sick was 1998.

          • Sick of it

            Yes, when not stuffed into a small building filled with sick children, I’ve noticed that I do not get sick very often myself. When I do get sick, Vitamin C and Mucinex seems to work well enough (I occasionally get colds,not so much the flu or other diseases).

  • itdoesnotmatter

    Probably truth to this.

    I participate in a Harvard Medical School Alum. project. A cohort of 100,000 white medical women annually complete inclusive questionnaires that cover all facets of our lifestyles: friends/family relationships, exercise, religio-spiritual affiliation, very particularized dietary intake inquiry, medicines, supplements, etc. One year, we were asked to submit hair, blood, fingernail samples and a tube of the water we drink. Over the years, the data collected and collated have become massive and highly informative re: womens’ health. Last year’s annual findings report stated that large doses of Vit D supplement are proving health beneficial, i.e. colon cancer prevention, cardio-vascular, cognition, for my cohort of women. I started on the recommended dose at once. I do not go out in the sun, as my fair skin burns so easily. I would suspect my serum D level was low.

    • dd121

      When all is said and done about Vit D I suspect that it will be discovered that the vitamin D supplements at best have a placebo effect. Medicine over the years definitely has had it’s fads.
      The vitamin D studies to this point show correlation, not cause and effect.

      • itdoesnotmatter

        Possibly. No argument from me on that one. I don’t feel any subjective effects.

      • WR_the_realist

        There is a good deal of evidence that vitamin D in levels well above what is needed to prevent rickets is beneficial. There is a lot of controversy over how high a dose is needed to get benefits vs. how high a dose might produce toxicity.

  • Bossman

    White men who live in hot and sunny countries have less heart disease and clogging of the arteries. They will also be more masculine. Vitamin D acts like a sex hormone and regulates minerals like calcium and fat metabolism. I read all this stuff in a book by a British doctor. According to the author, if you are white man who stays in the sun a lot you may get skin cancer but very little chance of getting cancer inside your body.

    • Not inside your body? Haven’t you ever heard of metastasis? The hottest place in which I want to live is southern Colorado. My wife’s already spoiled, because this time of year, the weather in Tokyo is usually 90-90 (90 degrees F and 90% humidity), and Tokyo is about 35 North latitude. The tropics might be great for the occasional vacation, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

      What you’re saying is that while a white’s – or Japanese, Korean, north Chinese or northeast woodlands Amerind’s – whole metabolism is geared to coping with a real change of seasons and not harsh, scorching sun, we’re somehow better off in the tropics, because a British “doctor” you can’t name told you. This fails a reality check. If this theory was correct, whites would have settled on Australia’s northern coast, rather than in the southeast, and would have left New Zealand’s South Island, which the Maoris didn’t want, completely alone.

      • Bossman

        These ideas still are at the frontiers of science and the medical profession is still learning more about it.

        • I used to be the best laboratory chemist in the world in microelectronics. We prototyped chips using spin-on-glass, but I got to make the solutions from scratch. My training as a scientist and engineer has me thinking you’re making this stuff up.

          • Bossman

            So you’re a trained scientist and engineer? So how come you can’t use Google to disprove what I’m saying? If what I’m saying sounds like outrageous nonsense to you, then just do a little research on the web and get back to me with a valid link.

          • Bossman

            Don’t assume that I’m making this stuff up. Use Google to find things out and to verify assertions made by posters such as myself.

    • doe john

      Vitamin D also boost Testosterone, Most people have a deficiency work in office, watch tv all day etc. It part of my theory why whites have become so passive and week.

    • Sick of it

      White folks in the South have had heart disease issues for centuries.

  • 1Forced_Registration

    Given how central the VDR (Vitamin D Nuclear Receptor) is in signaling in the immune system — it would be interesting to see just how much variation there truly is. Medically this opens up the possibility of differences between Blacks, Whites, and Asians in everything from toll like receptor signaling to gene transcription for insulin production. It may also create differences in how different races utilize or fail to utilize statins, a variety of ARB class blood pressure drugs that also tend to affect VDR, and it certainly has potential implications in autoimmune disease.

    On the other hand, its just an observational study, and may not mean that much of anything.