A new study from China has found that the blood vitamin D concentration may help to predict the risk of short-term disability and death in people who have suffered an acute ischemic stroke.
The case control study measured blood vitamin D concentrations and documented cases of disability and death in 220 patients who had suffered an acute ischemic stroke (AIS) (1). The study results showed that patients with lower vitamin D values had a significantly increased risk of death and disability for 90 days after the stroke event. The AIS patients had significantly lower vitamin D levels; 14.2 ng/ml compared to 17.0 ng/ml, which was measured in comparable participants who had not suffered a stroke.
The researchers concluded that blood vitamin D levels seem to be an independent prognostic marker for death and short-term functional handicaps (e.g., inability to move the limbs, talk or see) after AIS. Previous research has linked an insufficient supply of vitamin D with an elevated risk of a variety of cardiovascular events, such as a stroke, and mortality (2). Acute ischemic stroke – a situation in which the blood supply to the brain is cut off because of blockage in the arteries or blood vessels – is the most common type of stroke. In the United States, around 800,000 people suffer from strokes every year and 80% to 90% of those are ischemic.