People with Higher Vitamin D Levels Live Longer

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The Vitamin D Society wants to make the public aware of a recent study reporting that men and women with higher vitamin D levels have a lower risk of dying. This is especially important at this time of the year, since you will no longer be able to make vitamin D from sunlight at higher latitudes.

The Vitamin D Society wants to make the public aware of a recent meta-analysis study published in BioMed Central Public Health, reporting that men and women with higher vitamin D levels have a much lower risk of dying prematurely from all causes(1). Researchers analyzed the results from 9 prospective cohort studies which compared data on vitamin D status and mortality for 24,297 adults of varying ages. During the study period 5,324 deaths occurred. After adjusting for all the main confounders, the risk for all-cause mortality was 19% greater for those participants with the lowest vitamin D level compared to the highest. When the data was stratified by age, the study reported that the all-cause mortality risk for people with lower vitamin D levels was 12% greater for those under age 65 and 25% greater for those above 65 years of age. All results were statistically significant.

The authors reported, “As far as we are aware, this is the only systematic review and meta-analysis that has specifically investigated whether the apparent association between low vitamin D status and all-cause mortality is age-dependent. Although a significant increase in all-cause mortality was found in study participants of all ages with low compared to higher 25OHD levels, the pooled effect size was lower for studies with participants with an average age of less than 65 years compared to the studies containing older participants.”

“This study confirms that people over age 65 with low vitamin D levels have a 25% higher risk of dying prematurely from all causes,” said Perry Holman, Executive Director for the Vitamin D Society. “There is an immediate need for public health programs to promote and communicate the importance of maintaining optimal vitamin D levels of between 100-150 nmol/L to seniors.”

There is even more concern now that we are moving into the sunlight deficient time of the year. According to Dr. Reinhold Vieth, a professor in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, “If your shadow is longer than your height, then that sunshine does not provide enough ultraviolet light to make vitamin D.”

The Vitamin D Society recommend that people have their 25(OH)D level tested either through their family doctor or by purchasing a home test kit through health suppliers such as If your vitamin D test score is low, below 100 nmol/L Canada or 40 ng/ml USA, take immediate action to increase your vitamin D intake.

Dr. John Cannell from the Vitamin D Council recommends sunlight, sunbed or D3 supplementation to increase your vitamin D blood levels.

About the Vitamin D Society:
The Vitamin D Society is a Canadian non-profit group organized to: increase awareness of the many health conditions strongly linked to vitamin D deficiency; encourage people to be proactive in protecting their health and have their vitamin D levels tested annually; and help fund valuable vitamin D research. The Vitamin D Society recommends people achieve and maintain optimal 25(OH)D blood levels between 100 – 150 nmol/L (Can) or 40-60 ng/ml (USA).

For further information, please contact:

Perry Holman
Vitamin D Society



1.    Rush L, McCartney G, Walsh D, MacKay D. Vitamin D and subsequent all-age and premature mortality: a systematic review. BMC Public Health 2013, 13:679

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Perry Holman
Vitamin D Society
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