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General medicine
Calcium and vitamin D do not prevent fractures in community-dwelling adults
  1. Ian R Reid
  1. Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland School of Medicine, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ian R Reid, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, 92019, New Zealand; i.reid{at}

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Commentary on: Zhao J, Zeng X, Wang J, et al. Association between calcium or vitamin D supplementation and fracture incidence in community-dwelling older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA 2017;318:2466–82.


Fractures among older adults are a steadily increasing problem, as life expectancy increases. Supplements of calcium and/or vitamin D have been promoted to mitigate fracture risk in older people for many years, though the evidence for this has always been subject to disagreement. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of meta-analyses designed to resolve these uncertainties, but they have, in turn, resulted in contradictory outcomes.


Zhao et al have recently revisited this subject with a comprehensive meta-analysis of trials assessing the effects of calcium, vitamin D or their combination on fractures.1 The meta-analysis was …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.