Vitamin D deficiency from birth to early childhood was associated with an increased risk of elevated blood pressure in later childhood and adolescence, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.
Researchers followed 775 children from birth to age 18 at the Boston Medical Center. Most lived in a low-income, urban area and 68% of the children were African American. Low vitamin D levels were defined as less than 11 ng/ml (nanograms per millimeter) in cord blood at birth and less than 25 ng/ml in a child’s blood during early childhood.
Compared to children who were born with adequate vitamin D levels:
- Children born with low levels of vitamin D had an approximately 60% higher risk of elevated systolic blood pressure between ages 6 and 18;
- Children who had persistently low levels of vitamin D through early childhood had double the risk of elevated systolic blood pressure between ages 3 and 18.
- Systolic refers to the first or top number in a blood pressure reading. It indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when your heart beats. High systolic blood pressure readings increase the risk of cardiovascular disease even when diastolic blood pressure, the second number in a blood pressure reading, is controlled….