Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Review: vitamin D plus calcium, but not vitamin D alone, prevents osteoporotic fractures in older people

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

 Q In older people, does supplementation with vitamin D, with or without calcium, reduce fractures?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ Geriatrics ★★★★★☆☆ Endocrine ★★★★★☆☆


Embedded ImageData sources

10 databases, lists of conference abstracts, bibliographies of relevant studies, and contact with researchers in the field.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised and quasirandomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared vitamin D or its analogue (with or without calcium) with placebo, no intervention, or calcium alone in postmenopausal women or men >65 years of age. Studies of patients on corticosteroid therapy were excluded. 2 reviewers assessed study quality.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

new vertebral, hip, and other non-vertebral fractures and adverse events.


38 RCTs met the selection criteria. The quality of study methods ranged from poor to satisfactory: 34% had concealment of allocation, and 54% were blinded. Vitamin D alone did not prevent hip, vertebral, or any …

View Full Text


  • For correspondence: Dr A Avenell, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK. a.avenell{at}

  • Sources of funding: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare; Scottish Executive Health Department; Health Research Council of New Zealand; Medical Research Council, UK.