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Ann Intern Med. 1996 Feb 15;124(4):400-6.

Vitamin D supplementation and fracture incidence in elderly persons. A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

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  • 1Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



To determine whether vitamin D supplementation decreases the incidence of hip fractures and other peripheral bone fractures.


Prospective, double-blind trial.


Community setting (Amsterdam and surrounding area).


2578 persons (1916 women, 662 men) 70 years of age and older (mean age +/- SD, 80 +/- 6 years) living independently, in apartments for elderly persons, or in homes for elderly persons.


Participants were randomly assigned to receive either vitamin D3, 400 IU in one tablet daily, or placebo for a maximum of 3.5 years.


Dietary calcium intake and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] were estimated in a subset of participants. During follow-up, attention was concentrated on hip fractures and other peripheral fractures. The maximal follow-up period was 4 years. The results were evaluated by survival analysis.


Mean dietary calcium intake from dairy products was 868 mg/d. Mean serum 25(OH)D concentration in the third year of the study was 23 nmol/L in the placebo group and 60 nmol/L in the vitamin D group. Median follow-up was 3.5 years, and total follow-up was 8450 patient-years. During follow-up, 306 persons in the placebo group and 282 persons in the vitamin D group died (P = 0.20). Hip fractures occurred in 48 persons in the placebo group and 58 persons in the vitamin D group (P = 0.39, intention-to-treat analysis). Other peripheral fractures occurred in 74 persons in the placebo group and 77 persons in the vitamin D group (P = 0.86).


Our results do not show a decrease in the incidence of hip fractures and other peripheral fractures in Dutch elderly persons after vitamin D supplementation.

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  • ACP J Club. 1996 Jul-Aug;125(1):16.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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