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Stroke. 2001 Jul;32(7):1673-7.

Vitamin D deficiency and risk of hip fractures among disabled elderly stroke patients.

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Department of Neurology, Kurume University Medical Center, Japan.



Risk of hip fracture after stroke is 2 to 4 times that in a reference population. Osteomalacia is present in some patients with hip fractures in the absence of stroke, while disabled elderly stroke patients occasionally have severe deficiency in serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) (</=5 ng/mL). To determine the effects of vitamin D status on hip fracture risk, we prospectively studied a cohort of patients with hemiplegia after stroke who were aged at least 65 years.


We compared baseline serum indices of bone metabolism, bone mineral density, and hip fracture occurrence in stroke patients with serum 25-OHD </=25 nmol/L (</=10 ng/mL; deficient group, n=88) with findings in patients from the same cohort who had 25-OHD levels 26 to 50 nmol/L (10 to 20 ng/mL; insufficient group, n=76) or >/=51 nmol/L (>/=21 ng/mL; sufficient group, n=72).


Over a 2-year follow-up interval, hip fractures on the paretic side occurred in 7 patients in the deficient group and 1 patient in the insufficient group (P<0.05; hazard ratio=6.5), while no hip fractures occurred in the sufficient group. The 7 hip fracture patients in the deficient group had an osteomalacic 25-OHD level of <5 ng/mL. Higher age and severe immobilization were noted in the deficient group. Serum 25-OHD levels correlated positively with age, Barthel Index, and serum parathyroid hormone.


Elderly disabled stroke patients with serum 25-OHD concentrations </=12 nmol/L (</=5 ng/mL) have an increased risk of hip fracture. Immobilization and advanced age cause severe 25-OHD deficiency and consequent reduction of BMD.

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