No Connection Found Between Vitamin D and Atrial Fibrillation

A new study has not found any evidence that a deficiency of vitamin D does not elevate a person's risk of atrial fibrillation.

While research has found that low vitamin D levels are related to heart disease, a new study has not found any evidence that a deficiency of vitamin D does not elevate a person’s risk of atrial fibrillation.

The Framingham Heart Study followed approximately 3,000 middle-aged or older adults over a 10-year period and found that 425 subjects developed atrial fibrillation. Dr. Michiel Rienstra of Massachusetts General Hospital and his colleagues found no increased risk of getting the condition between people with the highest vitamin D levels in their blood and those with the lowest.

Dr. Michal Melamed, who studies vitamin D at the Einstein School of Medicine in New York, did not participate in the research but found the results to be very informative and helpful. She said the study was done well because “it shows that this one vitamin doesn’t have an effect on all heart diseases, which is a good thing.”

The same group of Framingham participants was part of a study in 2008 that found vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In response to the results of the study, Melamed stated, “we think that low vitamin D affects the architecture of the heart, but I’m not sure that it affects the electrical system of the heart.” The study included almost equal numbers of men and women, ranging in age between 54 and 76.

The US Institute of Medicine recently released a review stating that most Americans get adequate vitamin D and that there is insufficient evidence consuming exorbitant amounts of would offer any greater health benefits.

It is still debated as to whether people should consider vitamin D important to their heart health, said Dr. Emilia Benjamin of the Boston University School of Medicine, who worked with Rienstra on the new research and added that “there’s a lot of speculation and it’s still undergoing study.” Many studies have been done to find more connections between vitamin D and heart health. While researchers have found informative data into this correlation, more studies must be conducted to allow for doctors to delve deeper into the mechanisms of the heart.

Around the Web

Vitamin D Not Tied to Fibrillation [The Baltimore Sun]

Vitamin D Status is Not Related to Development of Atrial Fibrillation in the Community [Proceedings from the American Heart Journal]