No evidence that calcium and vitamin D prevent fractures

April 28, 2005

A study in this week's BMJ finds no evidence that calcium and vitamin D supplements reduce the risk of fractures in older women living in the community.

The researchers identified 3,314 women aged 70 and over and at high risk of hip fracture from primary care clinics. The women were randomly split into two groups.

The treatment group received advice from a practice nurse on how to reduce the risk of fracture and were given calcium and vitamin D tablets to take daily. The control group received only a leaflet on diet and prevention of falls. All women were monitored for an average of two years.

Over the monitoring period, fracture rates were lower than expected but did not significantly differ between the groups. There was no evidence that supplements reduced the risk of fractures or falling, or improved quality of life.

Putting this study in the context of other trials suggests that calcium and vitamin D supplementation may not be an effective intervention for reducing fractures in primary care, conclude the authors.
-end-


BMJ

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