Vitamin D deficiency is common in Arab countries particularly among women. This is the result of a low dietary intake of the vitamin, limited exposure to sunlight (a paradox in view of the high sunshine figures), skin colour, obesity and high parity. Apart from its adverse effects on bone in women and their offspring, vitamin D deficiency has the potential to cause or exacerbate heart failure through a number of mechanisms including activation of the renin-angiotensin system and increased arterial pressure. Accordingly, we propose that ensuring adequate vitamin D levels in Arab women will have a much greater impact on health than just the prevention of bone disease. In particular, we suggest that prevention and correction of vitamin D deficiency will reduce the incidence of heart failure and, for Arab women with established heart failure and vitamin D deficiency, improve cardiac function.
- Heart failure
- Renin-angiotensin system
- Vitamin D
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine