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Study indicates that Vitamin D deficiency may heighten the risk of death and poor brain function after sudden cardiac arrest

Posted:  Thursday, October 23, 2014

Vitamin D deficiency is a very prevalent condition even in countries bathed in sunshine. Implicated in a range of conditions, Korean researchers have found an additional effect of vitamin D deficiency.. They found that vitamin D deficiency could be fatal or may lead to poor brain function among patients who were resuscitated after sudden cardiac death.

Vitamin D deficiency could have serious consequences as it is linked to a seven-fold increase in the risk of poor brain function among sudden cardiac attack survivors The results of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association - a part of the European Society of Cardiology.

The researchers analysed the vitamin D levels and outcomes in 53 unconscious patients from the Severance Cardiovascular Hospital in Seoul, Korea. These patients were resuscitated following cardiac arrest. For study purposes, the serum vitamin D level was defined as deficient if it was below 10ng/ml.

Additionally, they used the Cerebral Performance Category (CPC) score to assess the patients' neurological outcomes 6 months after they were discharged from the hospital. A score of 1-2 signified good neurological outcome, whereas a score of 3-5 meant poor neurological outcome.

The researchers found that of the study patients, 41 received cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and majority of the patients had a shockable first monitored heart rhythm.

Furthermore, 65% of the patients who had poor neurological outcome 6 months after discharge reported a much lower average vitamin D level of 7.9ng/mL. In comparison, 23% who reported good neurological outcome had an average vitamin D level of 12.5 ng/mL.

When they checked for fatalities after 6 months of discharge, 29% of patients with vitamin D deficiency had died. Those who had normal vitamin D levels were alive.

According to the researchers, besides vitamin D deficiency, the two other aspects that contributed to poor brain function were the absence of bystander CPR or having a non-shockable first monitored heart rhythm

“Our findings suggest that vitamin D deficiency should be avoided, especially in people with a high risk of sudden cardiac arrest. People are at a higher risk if they have a personal or family history of heart disease including heart rhythm disorders, congenital heart defects and cardiac arrest,” said the researchers.

Although the researchers have identified the effect of vitamin D deficiency on brain function post cardiac arrest, they did not assess the mechanisms behind it. They still recommend a good vitamin D status among patients with heart conditions.

For study details:-Click Here!