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Study: Extra Vitamin D Doesn’t Lower High Blood Pressure

No benefit seen in elderly patients with isolated systolic hypertension (August 14)

Vitamin D supplements don’t appear to reduce hypertension in older people with low vitamin D levels, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Previous research had linked low vitamin D levels to hypertension, heart disease, and even early death.

Researchers in the U.K. conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized study to determine whether high-dose, intermittent cholecalciferol supplementation lowers blood pressure in older patients with isolated systolic hypertension. The study involved 159 participants with a mean age of 77 years. The participants received a total of 100,000 U of oral cholecalciferol or matching placebo every 3 months for 1 year.

No significant treatment effect was seen for mean office blood pressure (–1/–2 mm Hg at 3 months and +1/0 mm Hg overall treatment effect). Moreover, no significant treatment effect was evident for any of the secondary outcomes (24-hour blood pressure, arterial stiffness, endothelial function, cholesterol level, glucose level, and walking distance).

The authors concluded that vitamin D supplementation did not improve blood pressure or markers of vascular health in older patients with isolated systolic hypertension.

Sources: Reuters; August 14, 2013; and JAMA Internal Medicine; August 12, 2013.

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