Vitamin D Supplement Does Not Reduce Fracture Risk in Older Adults

Vitamin D capsules.
Among generally healthy midlife and older adults, fracture risk is not reduced in those who take supplemental vitamin D3 compared with placebo.

HealthDay News — Among generally healthy midlife and older adults, fracture risk is not reduced in those who take supplemental vitamin D3 compared with placebo, according to a study published in the July 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Meryl S. LeBoff, M.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined whether supplemental vitamin D3 would result in a lower risk for fractures compared to placebo in an ancillary study of the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial in men aged 50 years or older and women aged 55 years or older in the United States who were not recruited on the basis of vitamin D deficiency, low bone mass, or osteoporosis.

The researchers confirmed 1,991 incident fractures in 1,551 participants during a median follow-up of 5.3 years among 25,871 participants. Compared with placebo, supplemental vitamin D3 did not have a significant effect on total fractures, nonvertebral fractures, or hip fractures. No modification of the treatment effect was seen with baseline characteristics, including age, sex, race or ethnic group, body mass index, or serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. Adverse events did not differ substantially between the groups.

“The fact that vitamin D had no effect on fractures should put to rest any notion of an important benefit of vitamin D alone to prevent fractures in the larger population,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

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