Vitamin D deficiency in younger women is associated with increased risk of high blood pressure in mid-life, claims a new study.
The research has been reported at the American Heart Association's 63rd High Blood Pressure Research Conference.
To reach the conclusion, researchers examined women enrolled in the Michigan Bone Health and Metabolism Study and analyzed data from 559 Caucasian women living in Tecumseh, Mich. The ongoing study began in 1992 when the women were 24 to 44 years old with an average age of 38 years.
Researchers took blood pressure readings annually throughout the study. They measured vitamin D blood levels once in 1993, and then compared their systolic blood pressure measurements taken in 2007.
Premenopausal women who had vitamin D deficiency in 1993 had three times the risk of developing systolic hypertension 15 years later compared to those who had normal levels of vitamin D, researchers said.
"This study differs from others because we are looking over the course of 15 years, a longer follow-up than many studies," said Flojaune C. Griffin, M.P.H., co-investigator of the study and a doctoral candidate in epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, Mich.
"Our results indicate that early vitamin D deficiency may increase the long-term risk of high blood pressure in women at mid-life," the expert added.