The recent explosion of research on vitamin D has made most of us aware that adequate vitamin D is essential for bone health. The degree of its importance, however, is underscored by world-wide research suggesting that practically everyone who experiences an osteoporotic (low-trauma) hip fracture has inadequate levels of vitamin D in his or her blood.
In Minnesota, they looked at 82 adult minimal trauma fractures in people ages 52-97. Ninety-seven percent of all 82 fractures were hip fractures. All but two of the hip fracture patients had low vitamin D levels (below 30 ng/mL). In a large British study, vitamin D deficiency was found in 95% of hip fracture patients as were 78% of hip fracture patients in a recent Boston study.
Such findings have led researchers to ask if vitamin D level is not the best predictor of hip fracture risk. Our research at the Center for Better Bones and the Better Bones Foundation would lead us to agree that low vitamin D should indeed be considered as a major, if not the major, risk factor for hip fracture.
Gallacher, S.J. et al. 2005. Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Scottish adults with non-vertebral fragility fractures. CMRO, 21, 1355-1361.
Glowacki, J. et al. 2006. Importance of vitamin D in the design of hospital hip fracture care pathways. ASBMR Meeting Abstract #T46.
Malavolta, N. et al. 2005. The relationship of vitamin D status to bone mineral density in an Italian population of postmenopausal women. Osteoporos Int, 16, 1691-1697.
Simonelli, C. et al. 2005. Prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy in a minimal trauma fracture population. CMRO, 21, 1069-1074.