A recent study found that vitamin D insufficiency was independently associated with mental-stress induced myocardial ischemia, but not physical stress induced myocardial ischemia.
Myocardial ischemia is a condition that occurs when there is inadequate blood flow to the heart due to complete or partial blockage of the arteries. This reduces your heart’s oxygen supply, and may damage your heart muscle. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is considered to be a main cause of myocardial ischemia.
Researchers have long been interested in the role for vitamin D in the cardiovascular system. Receptors for vitamin D in the blood stream indicate that vitamin D may help regulate blood pressure and overall functioning of the heart.
Vitamin D has been shown to be related to CAD, but researchers have yet to explore vitamin D in myocardial ischemia in depth and the different factors contributing to myocardial ischemia.
In this new study, researchers evaluated the relationship between vitamin D status and myocardial ischemia response. They tested the vitamin D levels of 255 patients with CAD.
All of the patients underwent physical and mental stress testing on two separate days to determine how vitamin D status influenced these two stress assessments.
For the mental stress test, patients were given three minutes to prepare a two minute speech for an audience. The patients were told that their speech would be videotaped and thoroughly evaluated. During the physical stress test, patients had to run on a treadmill.
Results showed that vitamin D was independently related to mental-stress induced myocardial ischemia after adjusting for variables that may impact the analysis. There was no relationship between vitamin D levels and physical-stress induced myocardial ischemia.
The researchers concluded, “We found that patients with stable CAD and vitamin D insufﬁciency had a higher prevalence and severity of myocardial ischemia during mental stress, but not during physical stress.”