Results of a recent European study suggest that older individuals with vitamin D deficiency may be at an increased risk of developing metabolic syndromea condition that includes high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, unhealthy blood sugar levels and high cholesterol.
For the study, a research team from the University Medical Center in Amsterdam examined nearly 1,300 older men and women of Dutch decent. A total of 37 percent of the study participants had metabolic syndrome.
After taking blood samples and adjusting for various risk factors, lead author Marelise Eekhoff and her colleagues found that patients who had insufficient serum levels of vitamin D had a 32 percent greater risk of being diagnosed with the condition than those with adequate levels.
Participants who had large waistlines and low levels of good cholesterol (HDL) were most likely to have a vitamin D deficiency.
"Because metabolic syndrome increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, an adequate vitamin D level in the body might be important in the prevention of these diseases," said Eekhoff.
Metabolic syndrome currently affects one out of every four adults.