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Calcif Tissue Int. 2008 Feb;82(2):102-7. doi: 10.1007/s00223-008-9102-0. Epub 2008 Feb 1.

Differential effects of D-hormone analogs and native vitamin D on the risk of falls: a comparative meta-analysis.

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Department of Public Health, Epidemiology, and Health Economics, University of Liege, CHU B23 Liege, Belgium.


The aim of this meta-analysis was to compare the antifall efficacy of native vitamin D to that of its hydroxylated analogs alfacalcidol and calcitriol. Randomized clinical trials comparing oral native vitamin D and its analogs alfacalcidol and calcitriol to a placebo were included. Sources included the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, EMBASE, MEDLINE, a hand search of abstracts, as well as reference lists. The time range was January 1995 to May 2007. Data were abstracted and scored by two investigators. The core analysis was based on double-blind trials, while open trials were included as a robustness analysis. Relative risks (RRs) for falls while allocated to D-hormone analogs or vitamin D were calculated. Publication bias and robustness were formally tested. Fourteen trials including 21,268 subjects were included. Using double-blind data only, vitamin D-hormone analogs provided a statistically significant lower level of risk for falling compared to native vitamin D: RR = 0.79 (95% confidence interval 0.64-0.96) vs. 0.94 (0.87-1.01) (intergroup difference P = 0.049). The dropout rates observed in the two sets of trials were comparable: 0.33% per month. Publication bias investigation did not report any significant trend for selective publication favoring active treatment arms. Upon current evidence, D-hormone analogs seem to prevent falls to a greater extent than their native compound. Long-term, prospective, head-to-head, confirmatory trials are required to address the exact role of vitamin D and D-hormone analogs in the prevention of falls and fractures.

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