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Bone. 2007 Mar;40(3):716-22. Epub 2006 Nov 16.

Associations of vitamin D status with bone mineral density, bone turnover, bone loss and fracture risk in healthy postmenopausal women. The OFELY study.

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Synarc 16 rue Montbrillant 69003, Lyon, France.



Vitamin D status is considered as an important determinant of bone health but supplementation trials with vitamin D(3) have yielded conflicting results. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D), bone turnover markers, bone mineral density (BMD), radius bone loss and incidence of fracture in postmenopausal women.


669 postmenopausal women (mean age: 62.2 years) belonging to a population-based cohort were followed prospectively for a median of 11.2 years. At baseline, 25-OH D levels, BMD, bone turnover markers and clinical risk factors of osteoporosis were assessed. BMD loss at the radius was estimated by annual measurements of BMD and all incident fractures which occurred in 134 women were confirmed by radiographs.


73% and 35% of women had serum 25-OH D levels below 75 and 50 nmol/l which correspond respectively to the median and lowest optimal values recently proposed for fracture prevention. 11% of women had levels below 30 nmol/l. Serum 25-OH D correlated modestly with intact PTH (r(2)=0.023, p<0.0001), but not with bone turnover markers or BMD at the hip and radius after adjustment for age. When levels of 25-OH D were considered as a continuous variable, there was no significant association between 25-OH D levels and radius BMD loss or fracture risk. After adjustment for age, there was no significant difference in incidence of fracture, BMD, radius BMD loss, bone turnover markers, grip strength and the percentage of fallers in the previous year between women with 25-OH D levels below or above 75, 50 or 30 nmol/l.


In a population of home-dwelling healthy postmenopausal women with few of them with severe vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D status may not be an important determinant of bone health.

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