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Peripheral artery disease (PAD) occurs when arteries away from the heart become narrowed due to a buildup of fatty-atherosclerotic plaque; the blood vessels involved become narrowed or clogged. This condition usually affects the legs resulting in pain reducing the ability to walk. Data from 4839 participants in the NHANES study shows that having a decent level of active Vitamin D in the blood (exceeding 29 ng/ml) reduces the incidence of PAD compared to a level below 18 ng/ml.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA) PAD affects about 8 million Americans and is associated with significant disease and death. Only 3.7 percent of those with Vitamin D levels exceeding 29,2 ng/ml had PAD whereas PAD affected 8.1% of those with a level below 17.8. This gives an adjusted 64% increased risk of developing PAD if you have a low level of the vitamin. The results were presented at the AHA’s Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Annual Conference 2008 and are printed in AHA journal of the same name.