Elderly need more sun to reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes

May 12th, 2009 - 2:01 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 12 (IANS) More time in the sunshine could help older people cut down the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.
Exposure to sunlight stimulates vitamin D production in the skin. Because of ageing and lifestyle changes, the elderly are more likely to be deficit in the vitamin.

University of Warwick Medical School (UWMS) researchers have shown vitamin D deficiency is associated with metabolic syndrome, a combination of medical and metabolic disorders that increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The research team, led by Oscar Franco, probed the association between vitamin D levels in the blood and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in 3,262 people aged 50-70 years old in China.

His team found a high correlation between low vitamin D levels and the prevalence of

metabolic syndrome.

They found 94 percent people in the study had a vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. The results showed 42.3 percent of these people also had metabolic syndrome, said an UWMS release.

“Vitamin D deficiency is becoming a condition that is causing a large burden of

disease across the globe with particular deleterious impact among the elderly,” said Franco.

The study was published online ahead of publication in Diabetes Care.

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