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August 2010, Volume 40 Number 8 , p 18 - 18



Improved vitamin D status may be an important modifiable risk factor for older adult women at risk for falls and fractures, but many patients fail to adhere to recommendations for daily oral supplements. By improving adherence, would a single annual dose of vitamin D reduce the risk of falls and fractures in older women? A 5-year study exploring this question produced disappointing results: Annual dosing actually increased the risk among 2,256 community-dwelling women age 70 and older who were considered to be at high risk for falls and fractures.Study participants were given a single annual dose of 500,000 international units of cholecalciferol (vitamin D) or a placebo orally each autumn or winter for 3 to 5 years. Falls and fractures were determined using monthly calendars and confirmed by telephone interview. Fractures were radiologically confirmed. At the end of the study, researchers found that: * women in the test group had 171 fractures, compared with 135 in the placebo group. *

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