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Genetic Study Suggests Causal Link for Vitamin D Deficiency, Mortality

L-shaped association for genetically predicted 25(OH)D with all-cause mortality, with risk decreasing up to concentration of 50 nmol/L

MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — There seems to be a causal relationship between vitamin D deficiency and mortality in U.K. Biobank data, according to a study published online Oct. 25 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Joshua P. Sutherland, from the University of South Australia in Adelaide, and colleagues examined genetic evidence for the causal role of low vitamin D status in mortality in a prospective cohort of 307,601 U.K. Biobank participants of White European Ancestry, aged 37 to 73 years at recruitment, with available 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) measurements and genetic data.

The researchers identified 18,700 deaths during 14 years of follow-up. There was an L-shaped association observed for genetically predicted 25(OH)D with all-cause mortality; the risk for death decreased steeply with increasing concentrations up to 50 nmol/L. In analyses of mortality from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory diseases, there was evidence of an association. In the genetic analysis, the odds of all-cause mortality were estimated to increase significantly for participants with a measured 25(OH)D concentration of 25 nmol/L versus 50 nmol/L (odds ratio, 1.25).

“Additional research needs to identify strategies that meet the National Academy of Medicine’s guideline concentration of greater than 50 nmol/L and that reduce the premature risk for death associated with low vitamin D levels,” the authors write.

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