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Overview Stroke and vitamin D

Summary - as with many other diseases,

  • 2000+ IU of vitamin D will provide some stroke prevention
  • 10,000+ IU of vitamin D will provide some treatment and prevention
  • need more if in a high risk group
    • examples include elderly, dark skin, live far from equator, obese, avoid the sun, ...

Table of contents

Stroke mortality 3X worse among seniors with less than 26 ng of vitamin D – June 2014


See also at Vitamin D Life

Vitamin D Life: Stroke Meta-analyses

Vitamin D Life: Stroke Interventions

Article about Brigham Women's Hospital Study which was published in Stroke
"women with a history of depression had a 29 percent higher risk of stroke, even after considering other stroke risk factors."
"The study included more than 80,000 female nurses between the ages of 54 to 79 years old from 2000-06 without a prior history of stroke. "
"More than 1000 cases of stroke were documented among the women during the six years."
CLICK HERE for abstract Aug 2011
(Vitamin D Life notices that the principal author has published many other papers on cardiovascular problems and low vitamin D levels. Kathryn M. Rexrode krexrode at partners.org)

See in Vitamin D Life No longer depressed, but risk of stroke is still 1.7X higher (did not consider low vitamin D) – May 2015

Stroke Incidence Increasing Among Children And Young Adults, USA Medical News today, Sept 2011

In Annals of Neurology., researchers found that over the period 1995-1996 to 2007-2008:
Ischemic stroke incidence rose 50% among males aged 35 to 44 years
Ischemic stroke incidence rose 46% among males aged 15 to 34.
Ischemic stroke incidence rose 51% among boys aged 5 to 14.
no mention of vitamin D

Rising Incidence of Stroke Among Young Adults

Reporting on Christine Fox, MD, MAS reviewing Kissela BM et al. Neurology 2012 Oct 23.
The stroke incidence among adults aged 20 to 54 increased substantially during a 12-year period in a population-based study.
For aged 20 through 54 from 1993–1994 ==> 2005 incidence rate per 100,000

  • Blacks 83 ==> 128
  • Whites 26 ==> 48

no mention of vitamin D

New Study Shows Lack of this Vitamin Linked to Strokes Mercola Jan 2011

comment on American Heart Association's (AHA) Annual Scientific Sessions, Chicago, IL November 15, 2010
clip - - - -
Not only is vitamin D known to help reduce your risk of arterial stiffness, a major risk factor for stroke, but it can also:

  • Increase in your body's natural anti-inflammatory cytokines
  • Suppress vascular calcification
  • Inhibit vascular smooth muscle growth

Hypertension (blood pressure) increases incidence of strokes

Stroke patients with low vitamin D were 10X more likely to become depressed – Aug 2014

Stroke patients with low vitamin D were 10X more likely to become depressed – Aug 2014

Strokes occur 25% more often in the Spring - when the vitamin D blood levels are the lowest

Incidence of Stroke and Season of the Year: Evidence of an Association
Am J Epidemiol 2000;152:558–64.
1. Ann L. Oberg 1 , 2 , 3 ,
2. Jeffery A. Ferguson 4 , 5 ,
3. Lauren M. McIntyre 2 , 6 , 7 , 8 and
4. Ronnie D. Horner 2 , 6 , 9

Evidence of seasonal variation in the incidence of stroke is inconsistent. This may be a likely consequence of one or more methodological shortcomings of the studies investigating this issue, including inappropriate analytic models, insufficient length of time, small sample size, and a regional (vs. national) focus. The authors' objective was to ascertain whether an association exists between season of the year and the incidence of stroke by using a methodological approach designed to overcome these limitations.
The authors used a longitudinal study design involving 72,779 veterans hospitalized for stroke at any Veterans Affairs hospital nationally during the years 1986–1995.
These data were analyzed by using time series methods.
There was clear evidence of a seasonal occurrence for stroke in general.
This seasonal effect was found for ischemic stroke, but not for hemorrhagic stroke.
The peak occurrence was in mid-May.
Neither the region (i.e., climate) nor the race of the patient substantially modified the seasonal trend. An explanation for this pattern remains to be determined.

Chart from a 2010 Vitamin D book edited by Dr. Holick


BBC Sept 2011 30% Increase of strokes among young in the US Vit D not mentioned

  • The rate of ischemic stroke increased by 31% in five to 14-year-olds, from 3.2 strokes per 10,000 hospital cases to 4.2 per 10,000.
  • There were increases of 30% for people aged 15 to 34 and 37% in patients between the ages of 35 and 44.
  • More than half of 35 to 44-year-olds who had an ischemic stroke also had hypertension.

Strokes in younger people worldwide 'worrying' CBC News Oct 2013

Lancet article
The commentators also called the the global increase of 25 per cent__ in the incidence of stroke in those aged 25 to 64 "a worrying finding."

Magnesium in water also associated with reduction in stroke

100 mg more Magnesium in water associated with 8 percent reduction in stroke – Feb 2012
Independent evidence shows that Vitamin D and Magnesium both reduce strokes.
Expect that they would do well together - perhaps more than 2X the benefit

Stroke 50 % more likely if low vitamin D - Meta-analysis May 2012

25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels and the Risk of Stroke. A Prospective Study and Meta-analysis
Qi Sun, MD, ScD qisun at hsph.harvard.edu ; An Pan, PhD; Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD; JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH; Kathryn M. Rexrode, MD, MPH
From the Departments of Nutrition (Q.S., A.P., F.B.H.) and Epidemiology (F.B.H., J.E.M.), Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA; and the Channing Laboratory (Q.S., F.B.H., J.E.M.) and the Division of Preventive Medicine (J.E.M., K.M.R.), the Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Background and Purpose—Despite evidence suggesting that vitamin D deficiency may lead to elevated cardiovascular disease risk, results regarding the association of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels with stroke risk are inconclusive. We aimed to examine this association in a prospective study in women and to summarize all existing data in a meta-analysis.

Methods—We measured 25(OH)D levels among 464 women who developed ischemic stroke and an equal number of control subjects who were free of stroke through 2006 in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS). We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE for articles published through March 2011 that prospectively evaluated 25(OH)D levels in relation to stroke.

Results—After multivariable adjustment for lifestyle and dietary covariates, lower 25(OH)D levels were associated with an elevated risk of ischemic stroke in the NHS: the OR (95% CI) comparing women in the lowest versus highest tertiles was 1.49 (1.01–2.18; Ptrend=0.04). We found 6 other prospective studies that examined 25(OH)D in relation to stroke outcomes. After pooling our results with these prospective studies that included 1214 stroke cases in total, low 25(OH)D levels were associated with increased risk of developing stroke outcomes in comparison to high levels: the pooled relative risk (95% CI) was 1.52 (1.20–1.85; I2=0.0%, Pheterogeneity=0.63). In 2 studies that explicitly examined ischemic stroke, this association was 1.59 (1.07–2.12; I2=0.0%, Pheterogeneity=0.80).

Conclusions—These data provide evidence that low vitamin D levels are modestly associated with risk of stroke.
Maintaining adequate vitamin D status may lower the risk of stroke in women.

Received August 22, 2011; Revision received January 24, 2012; Accepted February 9, 2012.

4X more likely to have good function after a stroke if have high vitamin D level - May 2014

Prognostic Value of Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in Patients with Stroke.
Neurochem Res. 2014 May 1. [Epub ahead of print]
Wang Y1, Ji H, Tong Y, Zhang ZB.

We aimed to evaluate the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH) D] levels and both clinical severity at admission and outcome at discharge in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS). From June 2012 to October 2013, consecutive first-ever AIS patients admitted to the Department of Emergency of The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, China were identified. Clinical information was collected. Serum 25(OH) D levels were measured at baseline. Stroke severity was assessed at admission using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score. Functional outcome was evaluated at discharge using the modified Rankin scale (m-Rankin). Multivariate analyses were performed using logistic regression models. During the study period, 326 patients were diagnosed as AIS and were included in the analysis. Serum 25(OH) D levels reduced with increasing severity of stroke as defined by the NIHSS score. There was a negative correlation between levels of 25(OH) D and the NIHSS (r = - 0.389, P = 0.000). In multivariate analyses, serum 25(OH) D level was an independent prognostic marker of discharge favorable functional outcome and survival [odds ratio 3.96 (2.85-7.87) and 3.36 (2.12-7.08), respectively, P = 0.000 for both, adjusted for NHISS, other predictors and vascular risk factors] in patients with AIS. Serum 25(OH) D levels are a predictor of both severity at admission and favorable functional outcome in patients with AIS. Additional research is needed on vitamin D supplementation to improve the outcome of post-stroke patients.
PMID: 24789365

Publisher wants $40 for the PDF

Stem cells reverse stroke for many months, even if more than 1 year since stroke (nothing about vitamin D)

Chronic stroke patients safely recover after injection of human stem cells June 2016

  • "Proved safe and effective in restoring motor (muscle) function in a small clinical trial led by Stanford University School of Medicine investigators. "
  • "The procedure involved injecting SB623 mesenchymal stem cells, derived from the bone marrow of two donors and then modified to beneficially alter the cells’ ability to restore neurologic function."
  • “We know these cells don’t survive for more than a month or so in the brain,” he added. “Yet we see that patients’ recovery is sustained for greater than one year and, in some cases now, more than two years.”

More likely to have stroke if < 20 ng of vitamin D - Community living seniors

Vitamin D deficiency and incident stroke risk in community-living black and white adults Jan 2016
8.5 X more likely if black, 1.6X more likely if white - but racial difference was not statistically significant

Vitamin D and Stroke: Promise for Prevention and Better Outcome -

Current Vascular Pharmacology, Jan 2014 free PDF online
Table 1. Association of Vitamin D Deficiency with Risk Factors for Cerebrovascular Events
Diabetes mellitus
Metabolic syndrome
Limitation of Antithrombotic Effects
Enhancement of platelet aggregation
Up-regulation of tissue factor gene
Down-regulation of antithrombin gene
Down-regulation of thrombomodulin gene
Limitation of Neuroprotective Effects
Biosynthesis of neurotrophic factors:
- Nerve growth factor
- Glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF)
Biosynthesis of neurotransmitters
Brain detoxification pathways:
- Expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)
- Intracellular glutathione levels
- Gamma-GT levels
Modulation of neuronal death:
- Regulation of L-Type calcium channels (L-VSCC) in hippocampal neurons

Association between Vitamin- D Deficiency and Stroke - A Comparative Study - 2017

Charts of Vitamin D levels for the two types of strokes
 Download the PDF from Vitamin D Life

Quick review of Hemorrhagic Stroke - June 2017

Vitamin D - maybe, Vitamin C - maybe, Cholesterol - maybe, Omega-3 - YES

Vitamin D and Ischemic Stroke -need more data - April 2019

What is the current role for vitamin D and the risk of stroke ?
Curr Neurovasc Res. 2019 Apr 12. doi: 10.2174/1567202616666190412152948.
Siniscalchi A1, Lochner P2, Anticoli S3, Chirchiglia D4, De Sarro G4, Gallelli L5.

Increasing evidence support the relationship between vitamin D and stroke. Vitamin D have now been proposed as a prognostic biomarker for also functional outcome in stroke patients. A revision of the data suggests that low vitamin D is associated more with ischemic than with haemorrhagic stroke, even if the role of optimal vitamin D levels for vascular wall is still unclear. Vitamin D deficiency induces with different mechanisms an alteration of vascular wall. However, to date, the research supporting the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation in stroke and in post-stroke recovery is still inadequate and conclusive evidences have not been published. In this review, we provide a better understanding of the role of vitamin D in stroke.

Other Web

Most other mammals never suffer strokes. Bill Bryson, The Body, 2019

Overview Stroke and vitamin D        
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Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
8171 Vit D stroke comparative study 2017.pdf PDF 2017 admin 10 Jul, 2017 14:56 435.52 Kb 665
8064 Omega-3 and stroke.pdf PDF 2016 admin 04 Jun, 2017 15:32 1.88 Mb 691
423 stroke vs season 65.gif admin 27 Jan, 2011 15:04 5.50 Kb 4754
422 stroke vs season all.gif admin 27 Jan, 2011 15:04 5.42 Kb 4864
421 Cardiovascular - Holick Editor 2010.gif admin 27 Jan, 2011 14:45 32.54 Kb 9557
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