Health Discoveries in General Health News

Vitamin D plays a role in heart and stroke-related deaths for African-Americans

January 27, 2010
A vitamin D deficiency may explain the disparity of heart and stroke-related deaths between African-Americans and caucasians in the U.S.

Dr. Kevin Fiscella, a national expert on disparities in healthcare, said genetic and lifestyle factors may lead to lower levels of vitamin D in African-Americans than in other races. For instance, they have a higher incidence of lactose intolerance, which can eliminate vitamin-D fortified milk from the diet, and darker skin pigment that reduces synthesis of vitamin D.

"Therefore, our study suggests that the next step would be to intervene to boost vitamin D levels safely, with supplements," said Fiscella, a professor of Family Medicine and Community and Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, where the study took place.

The study has been published online and in the January-February edition of the journal Annals of Family Medicine.

Researchers at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, are comparing the effectiveness of two drugs used to prevent strokes and heart attacks – Warfarin (coumadin), an anticoagulant, or aspirin, which keeps blood from clotting – in an ongoing clinical trial.ADNFCR-2730-ID-19582575-ADNFCR
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