Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Randomised controlled trial
Administration of annual oral high-dose vitamin D to community-dwelling older women in autumn and winter months increases risk of falls and fractures
  1. Jacques P Brown
  1. Le Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec-CHUL, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Jacques P Brown
    S-763, 2705 Laurier boulevard, Quebec City, Quebec G1V 4G2, Canada; jacques.brown{at}

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.

Commentary on:


At latitudes above 35°N, where vitamin D insufficiency is common, winter sunlight does not contain sufficient ultraviolet B for endogenous vitamin D production, necessitating supplementation. Insufficient levels of vitamin D increase risks for falling and fracture.1 Randomised controlled trials investigating the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation for preventing falls and fractures have been unequivocal, complicated by different doses, dosing regimens, delivery methods, vitamin D types and populations.


Sanders and colleagues compared the rates of falls and fractures in 2256 community-dwelling women residing in southern Victoria, Australia (38°S latitude), randomly assigned to receive either an annual 500 000 IU oral dose of vitamin D3 or identical placebo each fall or winter. Women at high risk for fracture were entered into this single-centre, double-blinded trial and were followed for 3–5 years. Women were excluded if they were unable to provide consent or information regarding falls or fractures, resided in a high-level care facility, had high serum calcium (albumin-corrected >2.65 mmol/l) or creatinine (>150 µmol/l) or were currently taking ≥400 IU vitamin D per day, calcitriol or antifracture therapy. Treatment allocation was by an independent statistician.

Baseline questionnaires detailed participants' ages, calcium intakes …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests None.