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Vitamin D Improves Bone Health In Older Women, But Does Not Protect Against Mortality

November 1, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
A long-term U.S. study has found that postmenopausal women who took vitamin D supplements were not protected from death due to cancer, cardiovascular disease or other conditions, though vitamin D did improve bone health. Researchers looked at data from 2,429 older women, tracking blood levels of vitamin D and mortality over ten years. A total of 225 of the women died, including 79 from cardiovascular disease and 62 from cancer. What was apparent in the data, researchers said, was that the women with the lowest levels of vitamin D also had a lot of other negative health indicators. After controlling smoking, history of cardiovascular disease, history of cancer, alcohol consumption, and waist circumference, the impact of vitamin D was essentially zero.
C. B. Eaton et al., "Prospective association of vitamin D concentrations with mortality in postmenopausal women", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 01, 2011, © American Society for Nutrition
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