Background: Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a highly prevalent condition among aging adults, and a common cause of hospitalization in the United States. It is consequently a great financial burden. Many studies have shown a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and CHF, but little is known about the benefits, if any, of vitamin D supplementation in adults with CHF.
Methods: An exhaustive search was conducted using Medline-OVID, Medline-PubMed, and Web of Science using the keywords: vitamin D supplementation and heart failure. Relevant articles were assessed for quality using GRADE.
Results: Three trials were identified as meeting the inclusion criteria. The design of each study varied, as did the results. Two studies evaluated the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) as a measure of physical function. One study showed improvement with treatment and the other showed no change. All three studies measured brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), a hormone released by the heart when it is under stress and a common marker of severity of heart failure. Two studies found a significant decrease in BNP with treatment, and one study found no change.
Conclusion: There is some evidence to suggest that vitamin D supplementation is beneficial earlier in the disease process of CHF, but no evidence at this time to support that it is helpful in more elderly, advanced disease patients. A larger randomized control trial is necessary to provide more evidence for or against vitamin D supplementation in CHF.
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