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Low Vitamin D Levels Common Among Spinal Fusion Patients

Younger patients are less likely to have been supplemented and should be screened

Low Vitamin D Levels Common Among Spinal Fusion Patients

THURSDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- A substantially high number of patients undergoing spinal fusion have a vitamin D deficiency or inadequacy, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of Spine.

Geoffrey E. Stoker, from Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues analyzed serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in 313 adults undergoing spinal fusion (January 2010 to March 2011) for degenerative disease (260); deformity (99); and revision (73).

The researchers found that vitamin D inadequacy (<30 ng/mL) and deficiency (<20 ng/mL) were seen in 57 and 27 percent of patients, respectively. The vitamin-deficient had a significantly higher rate of smoking and were significantly younger. There was no sex difference. After adjusting for other factors, increasing body mass index, increasing Neck and Oswestry Disability Index scores, and lack of vitamin D and/or multivitamin supplementation all remained significant predictors of deficiency. Older patients were significantly more likely to have had previous supplementation.

"Our investigation revealed a substantially high prevalence of vitamin D abnormality in the analyzed population," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed consultancies, payment for lectures, royalties, or stock options.

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