High-Dose Vitamin D 'Somewhat Favorable' in Fracture Prevention

Benefits for elderly women consistent regardless of baseline levels, age, calcium intake

THURSDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- High-dose (≥800 IU daily) vitamin D supplementation is associated with a decreased risk of hip fracture and nonvertebral fractures among older adults, according to a study published in the July 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari, M.D., Dr.P.H., from the University of Zurich, and colleagues pooled participant-level data from participants (aged 65 years of age or older) from 11 double-blind, randomized, controlled trials of oral vitamin D supplementation (daily, weekly, or every four months), with or without calcium.

The researchers found that among 31,022 persons (mean age, 76 years; 91 percent women) there were 1,111 incident hip fractures and 3,770 nonvertebral fractures. Compared with control groups, participants who were randomly assigned to receive vitamin D had a nonsignificant decrease in the risk of hip fracture (hazard ratio [HR], 0.90; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.80 to 1.01) and a significant decrease in the risk of nonvertebral fracture (HR, 0.93; 95 percent CI, 0.87 to 0.99). The reduction in the risk of fracture was seen for the highest intake quartile (median, 800 IU daily) (HR, 0.70 and 0.86 for hip fracture and nonvertebral fracture, respectively). The benefits seen at the highest level of vitamin D intake were consistent across subgroups defined by type of dwelling, age group, baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D level, and additional intake of calcium.

"High-dose vitamin D supplementation (≥800 IU daily) was somewhat favorable in the prevention of hip fracture and any nonvertebral fracture in persons 65 years of age or older," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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