Thursday, March 19, 2009

Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With Several Risk Factors In Teenagers

Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With Several Risk Factors In Teenagers

Low levels of vitamin D were associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, high blood sugar and metabolic syndrome in teenagers, researchers reported at the American Heart Association’s 49th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.

After adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, body mass index, socioeconomic status and physical activity, researchers found the adolescents with the lowest levels of vitamin D were:

* 2.36 times more likely to have high blood pressure;
* 2.54 times more likely to have high blood sugar; and
* 3.99 times more likely to have metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors including elevated waist circumference, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol and high fasting glucose levels. The presence of three or more of the factors increases a person’s risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“We showed strong associations between low levels of vitamin D and higher risk of high blood pressure, hyperglycemia and metabolic syndrome among adolescents, confirming the results of studies among adults,” said Jared P. Reis, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and post-doctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

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