# Vitamin D Supplements May Reduce Risk of Major Cardiovascular Events in People Over 60
A clinical trial published in The BMJ has found that vitamin D supplements may reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, including heart attacks, in people over 60. The study revealed a 9% decrease in such events among those taking vitamin D, warranting further investigation, particularly in those taking cardiovascular medications.
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## Key Findings
– Monthly vitamin D supplements may prevent heart attacks in individuals over 60.
– The study showed a 9% decrease in major cardiovascular events among those taking vitamin D.
– Further investigation is warranted, especially in individuals taking cardiovascular medications.
– Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death globally.
– Observational studies have linked vitamin D levels to CVD risk.
– Previous randomized controlled trials have not found evidence that vitamin D supplements prevent cardiovascular events.
## The D-Health Trial
– The trial was conducted in Australia from 2014 to 2020.
– 21,315 Australians aged 60-84 participated in the trial.
– Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 60,000 IU vitamin D or a placebo monthly for up to 5 years.
– Individuals with certain medical conditions or already taking high doses of vitamin D were excluded.
– The average treatment duration was 5 years, with over 80% of participants adhering to the study protocol.
– 1,336 participants experienced a major cardiovascular event during the trial.
– The rate of major cardiovascular events was 9% lower in the vitamin D group compared to the placebo group.
– The rate of heart attacks was 19% lower and the rate of coronary revascularization was 11% lower in the vitamin D group.
– There was no significant difference in the rate of stroke between the two groups.
## Implications and Further Research
– The researchers suggest that monthly vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events.
– The protective effect may be more pronounced in individuals taking statins or other cardiovascular drugs, although these results were not statistically significant.
– The researchers recommend further evaluation to clarify the potential benefits of vitamin D supplementation in preventing cardiovascular disease.
The findings of this large clinical trial suggest that vitamin D supplements may reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, including heart attacks, in individuals over 60. Further research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits, especially in individuals taking cardiovascular medications.
*Reference: “Vitamin D supplementation and major cardiovascular events: D-Health randomised controlled trial” by Bridie Thompson, research officer1, Mary Waterhouse, statistician epidemiologist1, Dallas R English, professor2, Donald S McLeod, senior research officer1, Bruce K Armstrong, professor3, Catherine Baxter, project manager1, Briony Duarte Romero, research assistant1, Peter R Ebeling, professor4, Gunter Hartel, head of statistics5, Michael G Kimlin, professor6, Sabbir T Rahman, research officer1, Jolieke C van der Pols, associate professor7, Alison J Venn, professor8, Penelope M Webb, professor1, David C Whiteman, professor1, Rachel E Neale,, 28 June 2023, BMJ.*