High Blood PressureVitamin D

Vitamin D and high blood pressure in African-Americans

Higher prevalence of hypertension among African Americans is a key cause of racial disparity in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Researchers in New York and California assessed the contribution of vitamin D to racial disparity in blood pressure.

First, the details.

  • 1984 non-Hispanic Black and 5156 White adults were studied.
  • Differences in systolic blood pressure after controlling for conventional risk factors, and then additionally, for vitamin D (25[OH]D blood levels) were recorded.

And, the results.

  • The average age-sex adjusted Black-White systolic blood pressure difference was 5.2 mmHg.
    • This difference was reduced to 4.0 mmHg with additional adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics, health status, health care, health behaviors, and biomarkers.
    • Adding 25(OH)D reduced the race difference by 26% to 2.9 mmHg.
  • This effect increased to 39% when those on antihypertensive medications were excluded.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, ā€œ25(OH)D explains one quarter of the Black-White disparity in systolic blood pressure.ā€

They recommend more study to determine whether vitamin D supplementation might reduce racial disparity in blood pressure.

The overall prevalence of hypertension is 25%. In non-Hispanic Blacks the prevalence is 31% vs 24% in non-Hispanic Whites — a significant difference.

5/2/11 20:21 JR

Hi, Iā€™m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.