Yearly Mega Dose Ups Risk of Falls

MELBOURNE, May 13 (UPI) — Australian researchers have linked one yearly mega dose of vitamin D — versus a placebo — to higher risk of falls and fractures.

Kerrie Sanders of the University of Melbourne and colleagues conducted a randomized trial of the use of a single yearly dose of vitamin D as a clinical intervention to counter low adherence to daily supplementation.


The researchers say 837 women randomly received the yearly dose of 500,000 International Units of vitamin D in the form of cholecalciferol. Seventy-four percent had at least 1 fall — versus the 68 percent of the 769 women who received a placebo.

The women given the annual high-dose vitamin D group experienced 15 percent more falls. They also had 26 percent more fractures — 171 fractures in the vitamin D group versus 135 in the placebo group.

“This is the first study to demonstrate increased risk of falls associated with any vitamin D intervention and the second study to demonstrate an increased fracture risk associated with annual high-dose vitamin D therapy in elderly women,” Sanders said in a statement.

Sanders and colleagues recruited 2,256 women 2003 to 2005. Participants — all age 70 or older and considered at high risk of fracture — received the cholecalciferol or placebo each year for three to five years until the study concluded in 2008.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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