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Aust Fam Physician. 2012 Mar;41(3):92-9.

Vitamin D and the musculoskeletal health of older adults.

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Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, University of Tasmania.



The scientific literature related to vitamin D and bone health in older adults is extensive.


This article aims to summarise key practice points regarding vitamin D and bone health in older adults, relevant to general practitioners, and to provide an overview of the background literature to enable GPs to appreciate the extent of the supporting evidence.


Vitamin D supplementation can prevent falls, particularly in the vitamin D deficient elderly. However, adequate vitamin D levels and dietary calcium intake are needed for effective primary fracture prevention with greatest benefits occurring in the elderly with vitamin D deficiency and/or low dietary calcium intakes. For secondary fracture prevention, ie. preventing further fractures in the elderly who have already sustained a fragility fracture, specific anti-osteoporosis treatment is necessary. However, to maximise the benefits of these medications, vitamin D deficiency should be corrected and adequate dietary calcium consumed.

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