Monday, May 28, 2007

Vitamin D levels inadequate in half of women treated with osteoporosis drugs

Despite efforts to increase knowledge and emphasis on osteoporosis prevention and treatment, research indicates that many women treated for osteoporosis have low levels of vitamin D, a nutrient necessary for adequate bone mineralization.

A recent study involved 1,536 postmenopausal women from 61 study sites who had been taking medications for the treatment of osteoporosis for a minimum of three months. Participants were allowed to have used vitamin D supplements as long as the dosage had remained consistent.Overall, 52 percent of the women had vitamin D levels considered inadequate. Sixty-three percent of women who reported a supplemental intake of 400 IU's or less had inadequate vitamin D levels compared to 45 percent of those whose intake was 400 IU's or greater. Lower levels were also associated with the lack of physician counseling regarding the importance of vitamin D in bone health. The results of this study emphasize the need for greater education of the public and physicians regarding the significance of vitamin D status in the care of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

Source: Prevalence of Vitamin D inadequacy among postmenopausal North American women receiving osteoporosis therapy, Holick MF, Siris ES, Binkley N, Beard MK, Khan A, Katzer JT, Petruschke RA, Chen E, de Papp AE, J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2005 Jun;90(6):3215-24