The medical importance of vitamin D (calciferol) is most likely even higher than suggested by recently published studies. A study, which also involves the endocrinologist Bernhard Böhm from Ulm, has attracted enormous attention as it suggests that vitamin D deficiency increases mortality.
The new data are so important because it is the first time that researchers have identified a direct association between vitamin D deficiency and an elevated risk of cardiovascular diseases and mortality in general. The study found that low levels of the major forms of vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) and the biologically active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D seem to be linked to an increased risk of mortality.The findings are based on a large patient sample and hence statistically reliable. The data were acquired from the blood samples of 3,200 men and women of the LURIC study collective and have been monitored over the last eight years. The average age of the study participants was 62. They were recruited between 1997 and 2000; 737 participants have died in the meantime.