The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Vitamin D and high blood pressure in African-Americans

    Higher prevalence of hypertension among African Americans is a key cause of racial disparity in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

    Researchers in New York and California assessed the contribution of vitamin D to racial disparity in blood pressure.

    First, the details.

    • 1984 non-Hispanic Black and 5156 White adults were studied.
    • Differences in systolic blood pressure after controlling for conventional risk factors, and then additionally, for vitamin D (25[OH]D blood levels) were recorded.

    And, the results.

    • The average age-sex adjusted Black-White systolic blood pressure difference was 5.2 mmHg.
      • This difference was reduced to 4.0 mmHg with additional adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics, health status, health care, health behaviors, and biomarkers.
      • Adding 25(OH)D reduced the race difference by 26% to 2.9 mmHg.
    • This effect increased to 39% when those on antihypertensive medications were excluded.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “25(OH)D explains one quarter of the Black-White disparity in systolic blood pressure.”

    They recommend more study to determine whether vitamin D supplementation might reduce racial disparity in blood pressure.

    The overall prevalence of hypertension is 25%. In non-Hispanic Blacks the prevalence is 31% vs 24% in non-Hispanic Whites — a significant difference.

    5/2/11 20:21 JR

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