Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lack Of Sun Poses Danger In Our Twilight Years

Date:
December 1, 2003
Source:
University Of Melbourne
Summary:
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to falls and injuries in elderly women living in residential care in Australia, a Melbourne University study has found.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to falls and injuries in elderly women living in residential care in Australia, a Melbourne University study has found.

This is the first major study to show that vitamin D levels predict the risk of falls among such women.

“The solution to vitamin D deficiency may simply be supplying safe and readily available vitamin D supplements,” says chief investigator in the study, Professor John Wark.

The study found that 22 percent of hostel residents and a staggering 45 percent of residents in nursing homes suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin during sun exposure. It helps to absorb dietary calcium and is vital in forming and maintaining strong bones.

The study was published in the November 2003 issue of the prestigious Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

“Most of us are able to get our daily requirement for vitamin D from sun exposure plus a small amount from our diets. For elderly people in residential care, this is more problematic as most have impaired mobility, therefore more difficulty getting outdoors,” says Professor Wark.

“In addition, the skin of elderly people is less effective at producing vitamin D, further compounding the problem. In Australia, there are few dietary sources for vitamin D, so it is very difficult to make up for the lack of vitamin D production in the skin of people with very restricted sunlight exposure,” he says.

“Vitamin D supplements should generally prevent this problem and should be used more widely,” he says.

We have known for a long time that adequate vitamin D levels are needed for healthy bones. While other conditions such as impaired cognition and medications are known risk factors for falls, this new study, along with other recent research, indicates that muscle strength and avoidance of falls also require adequate vitamin D stores in the body.

As your vitamin D levels decrease the chance that you will fall increases. In fact, vitamin D deficiency is doubly risky, because it increases the risk of falling and it reduces the strength of bone to withstand breaking due to falls.

It is estimated that the health care cost of falls in the elderly in the mid-1990s was about $406 million per year. This figure has been increasing over the past few years and is expected to continue to rise if the situation continues unchecked.

Osteoporosis Australia suggest that preventive measures, such as vitamin D supplementation, hold the potential for significant savings in health care costs, in addition to reducing the burden of suffering for the elderly.

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone diseases, including osteoporosis, that weaken bone. Osteoporosis is the progressive thinning of bone tissue. It is common among the ageing and elderly, with studies estimating that 50 year old women have an almost 60% chance of suffering from an osteoporosis-related fracture in the remainder of their lives. The importance of osteoporosis has been recognized nationally by the listing of musculoskeletal conditions as a national priority health area by the Australian government.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Melbourne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Melbourne. "Lack Of Sun Poses Danger In Our Twilight Years." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031201065336.htm>.
University Of Melbourne. (2003, December 1). Lack Of Sun Poses Danger In Our Twilight Years. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031201065336.htm
University Of Melbourne. "Lack Of Sun Poses Danger In Our Twilight Years." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031201065336.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins