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USPSTF recommendations on vitamin D supplementation for adult fracture prevention

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently conducted a review of numerous studies to determine the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation with or without calcium on bone health outcomes in healthy, community dwelling adults. The conclusions of this review and corresponding recommendations were recently released. Their recommendations are for asymptomatic adults without a history of fractures.

The USPSTF concludes the following:

  • There is insufficient evidence to assess the balance of benefits and harms of combined vitamin D and calcium supplementation for the primary prevention of fractures in men or premenopausal women.
  • Current evidence is insufficient to determine the benefits and harms of more than 400 IU of vitamin D3 and more than 1000 mg of calcium supplementation daily in postmenopausal women.
  • Supplemental daily doses of 400 IU or less of vitamin D3 and 1000 mg or less of calcium for the primary prevention of fractures in postmenopausal women is not recommended.

Vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of falls in adults 65 years of age and older at increased risk for falls due to a history of recent falls or a vitamin D deficiency is also recommended by the USPSTF. In addition, screening for osteoporosis in women 65 years of age and older or in younger women with risk factors for fractures is recommended.

In light of these new recommendations, patients are encouraged to discuss the need for calcium and vitamin D supplementation with their healthcare providers.

Additional information can be found at the following website:

http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsvitd.htm


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