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MONDAY, March 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients have low vitamin D levels before and after open heart surgery, but those levels can be restored to normal with supplementation, a new study suggests.
But patients who had megadoses of vitamin D3 before and after surgery had normal levels of vitamin D shortly after their operation, according to the study to be presented Monday at an American College of Cardiology meeting in Orlando, Fla.
The findings, while preliminary, are important because vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and diabetes, said lead author Dr. J. Brent Muhlestein. He is a cardiovascular researcher at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City.
"Now that we know that the stress from surgery causes vitamin D levels to drop, we want to continue our research and see if supplementing vitamin D levels will help prevent heart problems in the future, given our understanding that low levels of vitamin D can cause an increased risk for heart problems," he said.
Researchers plan to study if vitamin D supplementation can reduce heart attack patients' risk for future heart problems.
Research presented at medical meetings is considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal. For any matters of vitamin supplementation, a physician should be consulted.
-- Robert Preidt
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