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Vitamin D Deficiency May Increase Hip Fracture Risk

A large scale study involving 40 clinics across the United States concluded that Vitamin D deficiency may increase the likelihood of hip fracture among menopausal women by up to 70 per cent.

For the large scale study, researcher's selected 800 women aged 50-79 from across the country. The average age of the group was 70 and all participants were of the same race. The women were divided evenly between 400 who had suffered hip fractures and 400 who had not.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine analyzed vitamin D levels in the menopausal women by measuring their serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is the form in which vitamin D is stored in the body. Then they monitored the women for an average of seven years.

At the conclusion of the study, researcher's identified that woman with the lowest levels of Vitamin D had a significantly greater risk for hip fractures than those with the highest levels. Their results seemed to be independent of the number of falls, medications and physical shape of the participants.

This study supports several others that show low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of fractures. A Swedish study in 2005 found that woman with low vitamin D levels had twice the risk of hip fracture. And the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey (a national survey that compiles health information from face-to-face interviews and medical examinations) also identified a link between vitamin D and hip fracture.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin produced naturally in the body with exposure to sunlight. It is not present in many foods although it can be used as an additive. One easy way to increase vitamin D levels without the risk of sun exposure is to use a quality supplement.

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine
August 19, 2008, Volume 149, Number 4, Pages 242-250
“Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations and Risk for Hip Fractures”
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