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A low level of Vitamin D might explain why high blood pressure is so dangerous in African Americans

May 03, 2011

High blood pressure is more common and more deadly in African Americans than in Caucasian Americans representing thousands of additional deaths and strokes among people with darker skin.

Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center analyzed data from almost 2000 African Americans and 5,100 Caucasian Americans over the age of 20. They compared systolic blood pressure and Vitamin D levels in the participants. 61% of blacks and 11% of whites had Vitamin D levels in the lowest 20% of the population sampled and that lower levels of Vitamin D were linked to elevations in systolic blood pressure however, accounting for 40% of the blood pressure difference between the two groups. The study is published online April 26th, 2011 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.