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Reduced vitamin D levels correlate with greater risk of fracture among women

04.11.2014

The World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, held this year in Seville, was the site of a presentation on April 4 of the finding of Swedish researchers of a greater risk of fracture in older women who had low levels of vitamin D measured over a five year period in comparison with those who had higher levels.

Among 1,044 Swedish women aged 75 years upon enrollment, 715 attended the five year follow-up examination. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels measured at both visits were categorized as low (less than 20 ng/mL), intermediate (20-30 ng/mL) or high (over 30 ng/mL). Women whose vitamin D levels fell into the same category during both visits were considered to have consistently low, intermediate or high levels of the vitamin. The subjects were followed for a total of ten years, during which any fractures were documented.

While 20.6% of women whose vitamin D levels consistently low experienced hip fracture, they occurred in just 9.9% and 6.9% of those whose levels were consistently intermediate or high. "This study concludes that in the population sample of elderly women, vitamin D insufficiency sustained over 5-years was associated with increased 10-year risk of osteoporotic fracture," stated researcher Kristina Akesson, of Lund University’s Clinical and Molecular Osteoporosis Research Unit. "This is part of a body of research which increasingly suggests that falls and fracture risk in the elderly could be lower by having higher vitamin D levels. The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) global recommendations for vitamin D advise daily intakes of 800 to 1000 IU/day in seniors for fracture and falls prevention, and if the on-going research shows that vitamin D levels are increased it may be a relatively simple and low-cost public health measure that could have significant positive effects on the incidence of osteoporotic fractures with aging."

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