National (Time)– In a finding that surprised its authors, a new study revealed that vitamin D deficiency does not contribute to rates of fatal stroke in African Americans, even while it doubles the risk of death from stroke in whites. This, despite the fact that blacks are known to be more vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency than whites, and also to suffer more deadly strokes.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins studied 7,981 adults of both races for 14 years; among the 176 study participants who died of stroke, 116 were white and 60 were black. Despite the absolute numbers, however, the researchers found that blacks were 65% more likely than whites to have a fatal stroke. Also, 32% of blacks in the study were found to have vitamin D deficiency, compared with about 7% of whites — yet the level of vitamin D did not appear to contribute to black’s elevated risk of stroke.