Possible Link Identified between Vitamin D and Hypertension

June 27, 2014
Adam Hochron

Researchers in Australia believe they have found what had been a missing link between low levels of vitamin D and hypertension.

Researchers in Australia believe they have found what had been a missing link between low levels of vitamin D and hypertension.

“Results from observational studies have suggested a strong association between low vitamin D levels and increases in blood pressure and hypertension, but randomized trials have not provided consistent evidence,” according to a statement on the study, which was published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

But now, the authors of the recent study said there is a possible connection between the use of vitamin D supplements and reducing hypertension.

Using a Mendelian randomization model, the researchers relied on genetic variants known to affect the circulation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations, which they used to measure the effect between vitamin D status and blood pressure and the risk of hypertension. For every 10% increase in 25(OH)D concentration, there was a drop in diastolic blood pressure (-0.29 mm Hg) and systolic blook pressure (-0.37 mm Hg), as well as an 8.1% decrease in the chance of developing hypertension.

Study author Elina Hyppönen said there was cautious optimism in the review of the randomization.

“By using genetic data, we can better avoid confounding, reverse causation and bias,” she said. “However, because we cannot exclude the possibility that our findings were cause by chance, they need to be replicated in an independent, similarly powered study.”

Hyppönen added that more studies using randomized controlled trials (RCTs) need to be conducted in order to check the relationship between vitamin D and hypertension, as well as the benefits of vitamin D supplements in treating hypertensive patients.

The study was funded by the British Heart Foundation, UK Medical Research Council, and the Academy of Finland.