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

  • Grant W
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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.\

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cardiovascular Diseases/mortality/prevention & con
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/mortality/prevention & c
  • Dietary Supplements\
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug\
  • Female\
  • Humans\
  • Male\
  • Mortality\
  • Neoplasms/mortality/prevention & control\
  • Pre-Eclampsia/mortality/prevention & control\
  • Pregnancy\
  • Respiratory Tract Infections/mortality/prevention
  • Risk Factors\
  • Sunlight\
  • Ultraviolet Rays\
  • Vitamin D/administration & dosage/blood\
  • Vitamins/administration & dosage/blood\

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  • W B.\ Grant

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