66% of Americans Have Increased Chance of Early Death from Low Vitamin D Levels

Study: low levels of vitamin D lead to early death
With all the concern about protecting your skin from the sun’s rays to preventing skin damage and cancer, it’s important for everyone to make sure they get their vitamin D levels tested when they visit their doctor. People staying out of the sun, and using sunscreen to a greater degree, have resulted in more people having vitamin D deficiency. Even president Obama takes vitamin D supplements due to low levels. This deficiency can cause a number of health problems including bone issues, cognitive impairment and even cancer. New research suggests vitamin D deficiency can have an even more serious health consequence — early death.

A thorough review of vitamin D research published in the American Journal of Public Health looked at 32 studies (which included 566,583 participants from 14 different countries) about the relationship between vitamin D blood levels and various types of death. The studies were published from 1966 through 2013, and the analysis of this research found people with low vitamin D levels were almost 2 times as likely to die early when compared to people who had high levels of vitamin D in their blood.

The research review, led by Cedric Garland from the University of California, San Diego, showed people who had the lowest levels of vitamin D in their blood were 90% more likely to die prematurely from some cause than those who had the highest concentrations of vitamin D in their blood. The research also found people with vitamin D concentrations of 30 ng/mL or less had an increase risk of dying early. To put that into perspective, Dr. Garland notes approximately 66% of the US population have vitamin D levels lower than this 30 ng/mL amount.

The findings make it important to discuss vitamin D levels with your doctor. It makes sense to get your vitamin D level tested at least once a year. For those who have low levels of vitamin D, talking to your doctor about taking appropriate vitamin supplements to increase vitamin D levels is also essential.

(Photo courtesy of Bradley Stemke)

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One Response to 66% of Americans Have Increased Chance of Early Death from Low Vitamin D Levels

  1. Vit D guy says:

    I was tested a few years ago, and I turned out to have critically low levels. If you live North of Atlanta, the sun just isn’t enough to give you adequate D.

    Craziest part is? I haven’t suffered my traditional seasonal depression symptoms for two years now in a row. 2,000 IUs daily in addition to my normal activities (daily vit, milk, etc) brought mine to where I needed it.

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