AACE: Aggressively Replace Vitamin D in Osteoporosis

Many patients have low vitamin D levels despite taking supplements

MONDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D deficiency is very common among patients with osteoporosis, even among those who are taking daily vitamin D supplements, suggesting that an aggressive vitamin D replacement strategy is needed, according to research presented this week at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 17th Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress held in Orlando, Fla.

Harinder Singh, M.D., and colleagues performed a retrospective chart review of patients at a Las Vegas endocrinology clinic to identify patients with osteoporosis who had documented vitamin D levels. The 71 identified patients were taking vitamin D 800 IU and calcium 1,200 mg daily, and the researchers measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels while patients were assumed to be taking the vitamin D.

The mean age of patients was 62.2 years, and 89 percent were female. Strikingly, 18 percent of patients met criteria for vitamin D deficiency (less than 20 ng/mL) and 22.5 percent met criteria for vitamin D insufficiency (20-30 ng/mL). In addition, 9.86 percent of patients had low calcium levels (less than 9 mg/dL).

"Our study demonstrates that many patients with osteoporosis who were on vitamin D and calcium had low vitamin D levels, which in turn contributes to increased risk of fractures," according to the authors. "Therefore, all patients with osteoporosis should have vitamin D levels measured, and replaced adequately."

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