HONOLULU, Sept. 20 – Women with low levels of vitamin D have an increased risk of hip fracture, according to a study led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health presented this week at the 29th annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research at the Hawaii Convention Center.
Jane A. Cauley, Dr.P.H., professor of epidemiology, and colleagues evaluated patient data on 400 women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study Cohort who had experienced hip fracture, confirmed by their medical record, over a median of 7.1 years. Levels of 25 hydroxyvitamin D, an indicator of vitamin D status, in the bloodstream were measured for these patients and compared with those of a control group matched for age, race, ethnicity and the date of relevant blood work. As vitamin D concentrations decreased, the risk of hip fractures climbed.
“The risk of hip fractures was 77 percent higher among women whose 25 hydroxyvitamin D levels were at the lowest concentrations,” said Dr. Cauley, who has spent much of the past 15 years investigating the physical changes that take place in postmenopausal women. “This effect persisted even when we adjusted for other risk factors such as body mass index, family history of hip fracture, smoking, alcohol use and calcium and vitamin D intake.”
Vitamin D deficiency might well cause more damage than any other nutrient deficiency in industrialized countries.
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