J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2011;22(4 Suppl):23-38. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2011.0161.
Artaza JN, Contreras S, Garcia LA, Mehrotra R, Gibbons G, Shohet R, Martins D, Norris KC.
Department of Internal Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science, 1731 East 120th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90059, USA. jorgeartaza at cdrewu.edu
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes coronary artery disease and stroke, is the leading cause of mortality in the nation. Excess CVD morbidity and premature mortality in the African American community is one of the most striking examples of racial/ ethnic disparities in health outcomes. African Americans also suffer from increased rates of hypovitaminosis D, which has emerged as an independent risk factor for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. This overview examines the potential role of hypovitaminosis D as a contributor to racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD). We review the epidemiology of vitamin D and CVD in African Americans and the emerging biological roles of vitamin D in key CVD signaling pathways that may contribute to the epidemiological findings and provide the foundation for future therapeutic strategies for reducing health disparities.
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