According to a new study, Vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk for metabolic syndrome* after menopause.
Researchers looked at 463 postmenopausal women with cardiovascular disease who weren’t taking vitamin D supplements. More than two thirds of the women had vitamin D levels lower than 30, which was considered insufficient. Of these women, 58% had metabolic syndrome, compared with 40% of women with sufficient vitamin D. When the vitamin D level was below 20, the odds of metabolic syndrome were doubled.
This observational design can’t prove causation, and more studies are needed. But because metabolic syndrome is a major risk factor for CVD, maintaining adequate vitamin D levels in postmenopausal women may be an important preventive measure.
Charles Vega, MD, clinical professor of family medicine at the University of California at Irvine.
*Metabolic syndrome is a very common and dangerous complex of disorders noted primarily in overweight individuals who develop high blood pressure, diabetes and elevated cholesterol levels.