Should older people in residential care receive vitamin D to prevent falls? Results of a randomized trial

Flicker, Leon, MacInnis, Robert J., Stein, Mark S., Scherer, Sam C., Mead, Kate E., Nowson, Caryl, Thomas, Jenny, Lowndes, Chris, Hopper, John L. and Wark, John D. 2005, Should older people in residential care receive vitamin D to prevent falls? Results of a randomized trial, Journal of the American geriatrics society, vol. 53, no. 11, pp. 1881-1888.

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Title Should older people in residential care receive vitamin D to prevent falls? Results of a randomized trial
Author(s) Flicker, Leon
MacInnis, Robert J.
Stein, Mark S.
Scherer, Sam C.
Mead, Kate E.
Nowson, Caryl
Thomas, Jenny
Lowndes, Chris
Hopper, John L.
Wark, John D.
Journal name Journal of the American geriatrics society
Volume number 53
Issue number 11
Start page 1881
End page 1888
Publisher Wiley Interscience
Place of publication Malden, Mass.
Publication date 2005
ISSN 0002-8614
1532-5415
Keyword(s) nursing homes
aged 80 and over
falls
vitamin D
randomized controlled trials
fractures
Summary Objectives: To determine whether vitamin D supplementation can reduce the incidence of falls and fractures in older people in residential care who are not classically vitamin D deficient.

Design: Randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind, trial of 2 years' duration.

Setting: Multicenter study in 60 hostels (assisted living facilities) and 89 nursing homes across Australia.

Participants: Six hundred twenty-five residents (mean age 83.4) with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels between 25 and 90 nmol/L.

Intervention:
Vitamin D supplementation (ergocalciferol, initially 10,000 IU given once weekly and then 1,000 IU daily) or placebo for 2 years. All subjects received 600 mg of elemental calcium daily as calcium carbonate.

Measurements: Falls and fractures recorded prospectively in study diaries by care staff.

Results: The vitamin D and placebo groups had similar baseline characteristics. In intention-to-treat analysis, the incident rate ratio for falling was 0.73 (95% confidence interval (CI)=0.57–0.95). The odds ratio for ever falling was 0.82 (95% CI=0.59–1.12) and for ever fracturing was 0.69 (95% CI=0.40–1.18). An a priori subgroup analysis of subjects who took at least half the prescribed capsules (n=540), demonstrated an incident rate ratio for falls of 0.63 (95% CI=0.48–0.82), an odds ratio (OR) for ever falling of 0.70 (95% CI=0.50–0.99), and an OR for ever fracturing of 0.68 (95% CI=0.38–1.22).

Conclusion: Older people in residential care can reduce their incidence of falls if they take a vitamin D supplement for 2 years even if they are not initially classically vitamin D deficient.


Notes Published Online: 15 Sep 2005
Language eng
Field of Research 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, Wiley Interscience
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30006500

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