Published on March 17, 2021

Individuals hospitalized for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events were more likely to have poor outcomes if vitamin D deficient

According to the World Health Organization, close to 18 million people worldwide die each year from cardiovascular diseases (31% of all deaths) and 85% of those deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes. Previously, GrassrootsHealth has covered the correlation between cardiovascular diseases and the status of different nutrients, such as vitamin D, omega-3s, and magnesium. Vitamin D in particular has been associated with lower blood pressure, reduced risk of arterial stiffness, diabetes and insulin resistance, as well as maintaining glucose regulation and a healthy lipid profile.

Vitamin D also plays an important role in brain health and could help prevent strokes and other cerebrovascular disease, as well as benefit those who’ve already had a stroke. Vitamin D supports normal neuron function and prevents cellular death after a brain injury. Studies, such as the one reviewed below, have linked low vitamin D levels with increased stroke severity and a higher risk of post-stroke disability and mortality.

Could Vitamin D Levels Affect the Prevalence and Severity of Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease Events?

Patel et al. performed a cross-sectional study of adult patients who had been hospitalized for cardiovascular disease (angina, myocardial infarction, arrhythmia, and congestive heart failure) and/or cerebrovascular disorders (acute ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack, intracerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage), who were also diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency at the time of hospitalization. (Note that vitamin D deficiency was determined based on a reported diagnosis code (ICD-10), not on a specified lab value.)

The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of these disorders among those with vitamin D deficiency in comparison with those not diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency, and to find out if those with vitamin D deficiency experienced worse outcomes (such as severe or extreme loss of function and disability) or were more likely to be discharged to a non-home facility after hospitalization. Independent variables were also identified and accounted for, including comorbidities of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, smoker, and renal dysfunction.

What did the study find?

1,059,755 patients were identified with vitamin D deficiency. Among patients admitted with different cardiovascular (CVD) and cerebrovascular (CeVD) conditions, the prevalence of congestive heart failure, acute ischemic stroke, and transient ischemic attack was significantly higher among those with vitamin D deficiency compared to those without deficiency. The study also found that those with vitamin D deficiency had significantly higher rates of severe or extreme disability following the events, and non-home discharge from the hospital, compared to those without.

Click to Enlarge & Print

As illustrated in the chart above, the risk of severe or extreme loss of function was greater among those with a diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency compared to those without vitamin D deficiency (p<0.0001), specifically:

  • 37% higher for Ischemic Heart Disease
  • 44% higher for Acute Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
  • 27% higher for Angina
  • 36% higher for Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
  • 22% higher for Intracerebral Hemorrhage
  • 35% higher for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

In Conclusion

Overall, this study found vitamin D deficiency was significantly associated with poor outcomes following hospitalizations for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. Vitamin D deficiency was also associated with an increased risk of discharge to non-home facilities and for severe or extreme disability following the event, compared to those without vitamin D deficiency. These associations remained after adjusting for other risk factors.

Should You be Getting More Vitamin D?

With almost 90% of the general population having vitamin D levels below the recommended 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L), it is obvious that most people need more vitamin D. While most of us cannot achieve a vitamin D level of 40-60 ng/ml from sun alone, either due to our lifestyle, where we live, or other circumstances, we can certainly reach those levels with the right amount of supplementation.

Below is a guide for how much you might need, and who may need more. Your levels can be tested safely at home – order your home test kit today.

Click to Enlarge & Print

By joining the GrassrootsHealth projects, you are not only contributing valuable information to our study, but you are also gaining knowledge about how you could improve your own health through measuring and tracking your nutrient status, and educating yourself on how to improve it. Do you know what your status of vitamin D, omega-3s, and other essential nutrients is? Could your levels be improved? Test now to find out!

We now have a NEW GIFTING SERVICE that allows you to quickly send ‘Gift Cards’ to friends, family and coworkers who you consider might need immediate access to testing, and to Claim the Joy of Your Health TODAY. Give the gift today!

What does the Research Say about Vitamin D & COVID-19?

It’s TIME to start saving lives! If you can help PREVENT the majority of the death, it’s time! What’s it costing you/us not to take action NOW?

There is much published research that supports a clear link between vitamin D and COVID-19 showing that higher vitamin D levels are related to:

a decreased risk of testing positive for COVID-19

increased viral SARS-CoV-2 RNA clearance

better clinical outcomes among patients with COVID-19

less severe COVID-19 disease

decreased risk of death due to COVID-19

Be sure to educate yourself on the benefits and importance of vitamin D for immune health, and take steps to ensure you and your loved ones are getting enough.

You can review all of the COVID-19 and immune health information we have shared on this page.

What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?

Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.

STEP 1 - Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.

STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).

STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.

STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.

STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.

STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…

Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.


The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.

These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.

Review the Latest Nutrient Research for COVID-19

GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 Index
  • Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
  • hsCRP

Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!

Please let us know if you're interested in helping sponsor this project.

CLICK HERE for updates and new information about the project.

Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Test Page

How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called

For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details.  This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!