Low Vitamin D LevelsThe active form of vitamin D helps control calcium and phosphate levels in the body. Measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) is accepted as the best indicator of a person’s vitamin D sufficiency. A new study finds the link between 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and stroke. According to a new study presented at the 2015 International Stroke Conference (ISC), stroke survivors with low vitamin D levels are likely to suffer an increased risk of a severe stroke and poor health.

The study included almost 100 stroke patients who were treated at a U.S. hospital between January 2013 and 2014. All had experienced an ischemic stroke – stroke caused by blocked blood flow to the brain.

Using multivariate linear and logistic regression analyses, the researchers investigated whether low vitamin D levels measured by 25(OH) D concentration could be associated with subsequent ischemic stroke and poor health. Their findings are as follows

  • Vitamin D affects stroke risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes, which can in turn, increase stroke risk or cause the stroke to be more severe
  • People with low blood levels of vitamin D – less than 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) – had about two times larger areas of stroke-related dead brain tissue than those with normal vitamin D levels
  • Patients with low serum concentrations of 25(OH)D were more likely to have a mRS score greater than 2, indicating at least some functional dependence. The risk for poor 90-day outcome increased almost two-fold for every 10-ng/mL decrease in vitamin D

The clinical demand for testing vitamin D levels has increased in recent times. Organs such as the brain, breasts, prostate, intestine and immune cells need vitamin D. While a mild deficiency may simply result in tiredness and general aches, severe deficiency of vitamin D can cause serious conditions such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

To meet lab testing requirements, leading manufacturers offer quality, cost-effective vitamin D assays that provide fast and accurate results. The Access 25 (OH) Vitamin D reagent from Beckman Coulter Diagnostic offers excellent stability and reproducibility. Diazyme’s Vitamin D assay is liquid-stable, three-reagent system specifically designed for use on general clinical chemistry analyzers. It requires only 20 uL of sample and returns patient results within 19 min. Both these assays are FDA-approved.