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Vitamin D Supplementation for the Prevention of Falls and Fractures in Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness, Cost-Effectiveness, and Guidelines

Last updated: April 30, 2019
Project Number: RC1105-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Drug
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of falls and fractures in elderly patients residing in long-term care facilities?
  2. What is the cost-effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of falls and fractures in elderly patients residing in long-term care facilities?
  3. What are the evidence-based guidelines regarding vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of falls and fractures in elderly patients residing in long-term care facilities?

Key Message

Moderate quality evidence suggested that vitamin D supplementation may reduce the rate of falls (i.e., number of falls), but not the risk of falling (i.e., number of individuals who fall) in older adults residing in long-term care facilities. Economic evaluations revealed that vitamin D supplementation dominates no intervention (i.e., less costly and more effective than no intervention) in preventing falls and fall-related injuries. Vitamin D supplementation at a dose of at least 1,000 IU daily is recommended by the guidelines. High daily doses (> 4,000 IU daily) or high load doses of vitamin D may result in higher fall rates than standard doses, and are therefore not recommended.