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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Apr;92(4):1415-23. Epub 2007 Jan 30.

Need for additional calcium to reduce the risk of hip fracture with vitamin d supplementation: evidence from a comparative metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials.

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  • 1Leuven University Center for Metabolic Bone Diseases, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA. steven.boonen@uz.kuleuven.ac.be



The purpose of this study was to extend the metaanalysis of Bischoff-Ferrari et al., which found that 700-800 IU/d vitamin D reduced hip fracture risk in elderly individuals by 25%, by defining the need for additional calcium supplementation in individuals receiving vitamin D for the prevention of hip fractures.


MEDLINE and EMBASE.com (search terms: "vitamin D" and "hip fracture"), bibliographies of articles retrieved, and the authors' reference files were used as data sources.


Selected studies were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of oral vitamin D with or without calcium supplementation vs. placebo/no treatment in postmenopausal women and/or older men (>or=50 yr) specifically reporting a risk of hip fracture.


Independent extraction was performed by two authors using predefined criteria, including study quality indicators.


All pooled analyses are based on random-effects models. Based on four RCTs (9083 patients), the pooled relative risk (RR) of hip fracture for vitamin D alone was 1.10 [95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.89, 1.36]. No between-trial heterogeneity was observed. For the six RCTs (45,509 patients) of vitamin D with calcium supplementation, the pooled RR for hip fracture was 0.82 (95% CI 0.71, 0.94). There was no heterogeneity between trials. In an adjusted indirect comparison of the summary RRs from the two metaanalyses, the RR for hip fracture for vitamin D with calcium vs. vitamin D alone was 0.75 (95% CI 0.58, 0.96).


Our analyses, designed to extend the findings of Bischoff-Ferrari et al., suggest that oral vitamin D appears to reduce the risk of hip fractures only when calcium supplementation is added.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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