Serum vitamin D and falls in older women in residential care in Australia

Flicker, Leon, Mead, Kate, MacInnis, Robert J., Nowson, Caryl, Scherer, Sam, Stein, Mark S., Thomas, Jennifer, Hopper, John L. and Wark, John D. 2003, Serum vitamin D and falls in older women in residential care in Australia, Journal of the American geriatrics society, vol. 51, no. 11, pp. 1533-1538, doi: 10.1046/j.1532-5415.2003.51510.x.

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Title Serum vitamin D and falls in older women in residential care in Australia
Author(s) Flicker, Leon
Mead, Kate
MacInnis, Robert J.
Nowson, CarylORCID iD for Nowson, Caryl
Scherer, Sam
Stein, Mark S.
Thomas, Jennifer
Hopper, John L.
Wark, John D.
Journal name Journal of the American geriatrics society
Volume number 51
Issue number 11
Start page 1533
End page 1538
Publisher Wiley Interscience
Place of publication Malden, Mass.
Publication date 2003
ISSN 0002-8614
Keyword(s) vitamin D
residential facilities
Summary Objectives: To determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in older people in residential care and the influence that the level of vitamin D may have on their incidence of falls.

Design: Prospective cohort.

Setting: Residential care facilities for older people in several states of Australia.

Participants: Six hundred sixty-seven women in low-level care and 952 women in high-level care, mean age 83.7 years.

Measurements: Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25D) levels and recognized risk factors for falls including current medication use, a history of previous fractures, weight, tibial length (as a surrogate for height), cognitive function, walking ability, and frequency of going outdoors were determined. The women in low-level care and high-level care were followed for an average of 145 and 168 days, respectively. Falls were recorded prospectively in diaries completed monthly by residential care staff.

Results: Vitamin D deficiency (defined as a serum 25D level below 25 nmol/L) was present in 144 (22%) women in low-level care and 428 (45%) in high-level care. After excluding 358 bed-bound residents and adjusting for weight, cognitive status, psychotropic drug use, previous Colles fracture, and the presence of wandering behavior, log serum 25D level remained independently associated with time to first fall. The adjusted hazards ratio was 0.74 (95% confidence interval=0.59–0.94; P=.01), implying a 20% reduction in the risk of falling with a doubling of the vitamin D level.

Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency is common in residential care in Australia. A low level of serum vitamin D is an independent predictor of incident falls.

Notes Published Online: 24 Oct 2003
Language eng
DOI 10.1046/j.1532-5415.2003.51510.x
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 ©2003, Wiley Interscience
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