Having a low level of Vitamin D accounts for about 50% of all cases of high blood pressure in African Americans

July 27, 2007

Researchers from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, note that populations with a poor level of vitamin D such as seen in African Americans, have increased blood pressure compared to lighter skinned people. The analysis was restricted to 12,644 in the USA. African Americans had lower vitamin D levels on average than Mexican Americans who had lower levels than white Americans. When the blood level of active Vitamin D was separated into 5 brackets or quintiles, those in the lowest group had a significant elevation in blood pressure vs. those with Vitamin D levels in the highest group; the difference was enough to trigger a stroke (3 mm Hg for systolic and 1.6 mm Hg for diastolic). However, if a person was heavy this also accounted for an increase in blood pressure. The final tally was that low levels of Vitamin D explained about half of the increased blood pressure in African Americans and the relationship was more severe in those over 50. This very important research is published in the July 2007 issue of the American Journal of Hypertension.