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Vitamin D is an essential nutrient and a secosteroid hormone that regulates many physiologic processes beyond calcium and bone homeostasis. These "extraskeletal" effects are impacted by the circulating levels of the storage form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. Levels of vitamin D can be detected after completing a simple 25(OH)D blood test. Vitamin D deficiency (< 30 ng/mL) is associated with a higher risk of many chronic diseases including, but not limited to, fourteen types of cancers, type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, and asthma. This article explores the association between vitamin D deficiency and the burden of chronic diseases in West Virginia.


CME issue on the Art, Science and Ethics of Prevention. WV Medical Journal. The copy of record is available from the publisher at Copyright © 2012 West Virginia State Journal of Medicine. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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