The research participants consisted of 95,766 individuals from Denmark who had been assessed for variants in the genes DHCR7 and CYP2R1, which are known to lower vitamin D levels in the body.
Vitamin D levels were measured among 35,334 participants, and other life style factors influencing mortality such as physical activity levels, alcohol consumption, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol levels and smoking status were recorded.
By the time the study ended in 2013, more than 10,000 of the participants had died. The research, published Nov. 18 in the BMJ, found that genetically low vitamin D levels were linked with early death from any cause, but not heart-related events
Genetically low vitamin D concentrations and increased mortality: mendelian randomisation analysis in three large cohorts, Borge Nordestgaard, et al., BMJ, doi: 10.1136/bmj.g6330, published online 18 November 2014.