People with low vitamin D levels may be twice as likely to die prematurely as those who do not.

To make their findings researchers looked at 32 previous studies that looked at the connection between human vitamin D levels and mortality rates, a University of California, San Diego Health Sciences news release reported.

“Three years ago, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that having a too-low blood level of vitamin D was hazardous,” Cedric Garland, DrPH, professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UC San Diego and lead author of the study, said in the news release. “This study supports that conclusion, but goes one step further. The 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) blood level cutoff assumed from the IOM report was based solely on the association of low vitamin D with risk of bone disease. This new finding is based on the association of low vitamin D with risk of premature death from all causes, not just bone diseases.”

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