The risk of hospitalization in veterans with heart failure was significantly higher for those with vitamin D deficiency, according to a study published in the journal Maturitas.
“25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] deficiency is related to an increase in cardiovascular risk but the association between low 25(OH)D
and hospitalization and mortality in heart failure patients remains unclear,” researchers wrote. “The objective of this study was therefore
to determine whether 25(OH)D deficiency is associated with a higher risk of all-cause
hospitalizations and mortality in veterans with heart failure, as well as the differential effect of frailty.”
The retrospective cohort study included 284 veterans with heart failure, 141 of whom were considered deficient in vitamin D because their 25(OH)D levels were below 30 ng/mL.
Over a median 1136-day follow-up, or roughly 3 years, veterans with vitamin D deficiency accounted for 68% of 617 all-cause hospitalizations that occurred, according to the study. Veterans with heart failure and frailty had an even higher hospitalization risk with vitamin D deficiency.
No association between vitamin D deficiency and mortality was found, however. Among 131 deaths that occurred during the follow-up period, just 40% were veterans with vitamin D deficiency, researchers reported.
Given the link between hospitalization and vitamin D deficiency, researchers advised the monitoring of vitamin D levels in patients with heart failure.
“25(OH)D deficiency was an independent risk factor for hospitalization in patients with heart failure,” they concluded, “and the effect persisted in those with frailty.” —Jolynn Tumolo