ATLANTA — Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are “extraordinarily prevalent” in patients presenting with acute myocardial infarction, according to a national prospective study.
Of 239 patients admitted for acute MI at 20 U.S. hospitals, 75% were vitamin D deficient as commonly defined by a serum level of 20 ng/mL or less. Another 21% had insufficient vitamin D levels, meaning more than 20 but less than 30 ng/mL. So a mere 4% of MI patients in this national sample had a normal serum vitamin D level, Dr. John H. Lee said at the meeting.
“Screening and treatment should be considered to correct this common vitamin deficiency and investigated as a means of further improving MI patients' cardiovascular risk factors and outcomes,” added Dr. Lee of the Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans.
Patients with vitamin D deficiency were significantly more likely to be diabetic, with a prevalence of 31% vs. 17% of those with normal or insufficient vitamin D. Patients who were vitamin D deficient were more likely to be uninsured (24% vs. 10%), nonwhite (29% vs. 15%), smokers (42% vs. 25%); to lack social support (18% vs. 5%); and to have a low level of physical activity (79% vs. 57%).
Dr. Lee disclosed having no financial relationships relevant to this study.