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Vitamin D deficiency increases chances of fractures among elderly [Mumbai]

Times of India


MUMBAI: An All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, study has highlighted that vitamin D deficiency (VDD) can be one of the important risk factor for an osteoporotic fracture in all age groups, especially among the elderly. Patients with non-traumatic hip fracture and more than 50 years were included in this study.

Diagnosis of VDD was considered when 25(OH)D levels were [less than]20 ng/ml. Diagnosis of severe VDD was made with 25(OH)D levels were [less than]5 ng/ml while that of mild to moderate VDD with 25(OH)D levels between 5-20 ng/ml. All patients except one (96.7%) had VDD. 23.25% patients had severe VDD while 74.4% had 25(OH)D less than 10 ng/ml. 23.25% patients had 25(OH)D level between 10-20 ng/ml.

This was the first study to evaluate vitamin D status in Asian-Indian population with fragility hip fracture and reveals very high prevalence of VDD. This study also shows high mortality one year after fragility hip fracture.

"Vitamin D deficiency is associated with muscle weakness and increased chance of falls which is common in elderly people. Older people are prone to develop vitamin D deficiency because of various risk factors: decreased dietary intake, diminished sunlight exposure, reduced skin thickness & impaired intestinal absorption," said Dr Parag Shah of Endocrine Society of India.

"Until now, the true fracture reduction potential of Vitamin D was somewhat ignored. Clinical trials and research world over have shown that calcium absorption, healthy bone density, and physical function all require adequate Vitamin D levels. In addition, low Vitamin D levels are linked to muscle weakness, loss of bone strength, and falls & fractures," Shah added. He also adds that Vitamin D supplementation in vitamin D-deficient, elderly people improved muscle strength, walking distance and functional ability and resulted in a reduction in falls and non-vertebral fractures.

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