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High Vitamin D Levels Tied to Lower Parkinson’s Risk

Last Updated: July 14, 2010.

People with higher serum levels of vitamin D are at reduced risk for developing Parkinson's disease compared to those with lower serum levels of the vitamin, according to a study in the July issue of the Archives of Neurology.

WEDNESDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- People with higher serum levels of vitamin D are at reduced risk for developing Parkinson's disease compared to those with lower serum levels of the vitamin, according to a study in the July issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Paul Knekt, of the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues used frozen blood samples to determine the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels for a cohort of 3,173 subjects, aged 50 to 79 and free of Parkinson's disease at baseline, who participated in the Mini-Finland Health Survey during 1978 to 1980. The incidence of Parkinson's disease in the cohort was tracked through 2007.

The researchers noted 50 cases of Parkinson's disease in the group during the 29-year follow-up, with subjects who had higher serum vitamin D levels exhibiting a reduced risk. After adjusting for age, sex, marital status, education, alcohol consumption, physical activity, smoking, body mass index, and month the blood was drawn, the researchers calculated that the relative risk between the highest and lowest quartiles of serum vitamin D was 0.33.

"The results are consistent with the suggestion that high vitamin D status provides protection against Parkinson disease. It cannot, however, be excluded that the finding is due to residual confounding and further studies are thus needed," the authors write.

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