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VITAMIN D AND STROKE

HOW ARE VITAMIN D LEVELS AND STROKE RISK RELATED?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Are low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of stroke seen in African Americans related?  Erin Michos, a cardiologist and researcher at Johns Hopkins, describes her study presented at the recent American Heart Association meeting.

MICHOS: Blacks have higher rates of vitamin D deficiency because their dark skin coloring acts as a natural sunscreen.  In fact 80% of blacks probably have insufficient levels of vitamin D, and blacks also have higher rates of stroke compared to whites.  So we set out to say, well, if blacks have lower vitamin D levels and blacks have higher stroke rates maybe racial differences in vitamin D might explain why blacks have higher rates of stroke.  But we were very surprised that we didn’t find a relationship of low vitamin D levels with fatal stroke in blacks.  :34

Michos says it is somewhat disappointing not to identify a smoking gun, but says more research on the role of vitamin D is still needed.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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