* Oral Vitamin D * increased falls and fractures.
Vitamin tablets taken orally May Not = vitamin D from the sun!
Annual High-Dose Oral Vitamin D and Falls and Fractures in Older Women
A Randomized Controlled Trial
Context Improving vitamin D status may be an important modifiable risk factor to reduce falls and fractures; however, adherence to
daily supplementation is typically poor.
Objective To determine whether a single annual dose of 500 000 IU of cholecalciferol administered orally to older women in autumn or
winter would improve adherence and reduce the risk of falls and fracture.
Design, Setting, and Participants A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 2256 community-dwelling women, aged 70 years or older, considered to be at high
risk of fracture were recruited from June 2003 to June 2005 and were randomly assigned to receive cholecalciferol or placebo
each autumn to winter for 3 to 5 years. The study concluded in 2008.
Intervention 500 000 IU of cholecalciferol or placebo.
Main Outcome Measures Falls and fractures were ascertained using monthly calendars; details were confirmed by telephone interview. Fractures were
radiologically confirmed. In a substudy, 137 randomly selected participants underwent serial blood sampling for 25-hydroxycholecalciferol
and parathyroid hormone levels.
Results Women in the cholecalciferol (vitamin D) group had 171 fractures vs 135 in the placebo group; 837 women in the vitamin D
group fell 2892 times (rate, 83.4 per 100 person-years) while 769 women in the placebo group fell 2512 times (rate, 72.7 per
100 person-years; incidence rate ratio [RR], 1.15; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.30; P = .03). The incidence RR for fracture in the vitamin D group was 1.26 (95% CI, 1.00-1.59; P = .047) vs the placebo group (rates per 100 person-years, 4.9 vitamin D vs 3.9 placebo). A temporal pattern was observed
in a post hoc analysis of falls. The incidence RR of falling in the vitamin D group vs the placebo group was 1.31 in the first
3 months after dosing and 1.13 during the following 9 months (test for homogeneity; P = .02). In the substudy, the median baseline serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol was 49 nmol/L. Less than 3% of the substudy
participants had 25-hydroxycholecalciferol levels lower than 25 nmol/L. In the vitamin D group, 25-hydroxycholecalciferol
levels increased at 1 month after dosing to approximately 120 nmol/L, were approximately 90 nmol/L at 3 months, and remained
higher than the placebo group 12 months after dosing.
Conclusion Among older community-dwelling women, annual oral administration of high-dose cholecalciferol resulted in an increased risk
of falls and fractures.