An estimate of the global reduction in mortality rates through doubling vitamin D levels

  • W.B. G
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Background/Objectives: The goal of this work is to estimate the reduction in mortality rates for six geopolitical regions of the world under the assumption that serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels increase from 54 to 110 nmol/l. Subjects/Methods: This study is based on interpretation of the journal literature relating to the effects of solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) and vitamin D in reducing the risk of disease and estimates of the serum 25(OH)D level-disease risk relations for cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and respiratory infections. The vitamin D-sensitive diseases that account for more than half of global mortality rates are CVD, cancer, respiratory infections, respiratory diseases, tuberculosis and diabetes mellitus. Additional vitamin D-sensitive diseases and conditions that account for 2 to 3% of global mortality rates are Alzheimer's disease, falls, meningitis, Parkinson's disease, maternal sepsis, maternal hypertension (pre-eclampsia) and multiple sclerosis. Increasing serum 25(OH)D levels from 54 to 110 nmol/l would reduce the vitamin D-sensitive disease mortality rate by an estimated 20%. Results: The reduction in all-cause mortality rates range from 7.6% for African females to 17.3% for European females. Reductions for males average 0.6% lower than for females. The estimated increase in life expectancy is 2 years for all six regions. Conclusions: Increasing serum 25(OH)D levels is the most cost-effective way to reduce global mortality rates, as the cost of vitamin D is very low and there are few adverse effects from oral intake and/or frequent moderate UVB irradiance with sufficient body surface area exposed. (copyright) 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • 25 hydroxyvitamin D
  • Alzheimer disease
  • Black person
  • Caucasian
  • Parkinson disease
  • calcium
  • cardiovascular disease
  • controlled study
  • dietary intake
  • dose response
  • epidemiology
  • falling
  • female
  • fracture
  • geographic distribution
  • human
  • life expectancy
  • male
  • meningitis
  • mortality
  • multiple sclerosis
  • neoplasm
  • non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
  • patient compliance
  • preeclampsia
  • respiratory tract disease
  • respiratory tract infection
  • review
  • risk reduction
  • sepsis
  • sex difference
  • sun exposure
  • tuberculosis
  • ultraviolet B radiation
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin blood level
  • vitamin supplementation

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  • Grant W.B.

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