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

Last updated: April 15, 2016
Project Number: RC0770-000
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

Current evidence does not support vitamin D supplementation in elderly residents living in long-term care facilities. A systematic review of meta-analyses (MA) identified five MAs, four of which did not report a statistically significant reduction in the rate of falls. Data from one Australian cost study (which used clinical effectiveness data from the one MA that reported a statistically significant reduction in the rate of falls in long-term care facilities with vitamin D supplementation) found that the costs were lowest with vitamin D supplementation compared to other types of interventions and that vitamin D supplementation is cost-effective for older adults living in residential aged care facilities. The American Geriatric Society Consensus Statement did not recommend vitamin D supplementation alone for the prevention of falls and fractures in elderly patients residing in long-term care facilities. The Scientific Advisory Council of Osteoporosis Canada recommended daily supplements of vitamin D for residents identified as being at high risk of fracture, and daily supplements of vitamin D to meet the recommended dietary allowance for non-high-risk residents.