Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vitamin D supplements have little effect on risk of falls in older people

Date:
April 23, 2014
Source:
The Lancet
Summary:
A new meta-analysis concludes that there is no evidence to suggest that vitamin D supplements prevent falls, and that ongoing trials to test this theory are unlikely to change this result. Falls can be devastating for older people, and strategies to reduce fall risk are urgently needed as the global population ages. The results of trials that have investigated the ability of vitamin D to prevent falls -- and those of previous meta-analyses -- have been mixed. It is unclear how vitamin D supplements might prevent falls but, until now.

A new meta-analysis, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, concludes that there is no evidence to suggest that vitamin D supplements prevent falls, and that ongoing trials to test this theory are unlikely to change this result.

Related Articles


The study, by Dr Mark Bolland of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and colleagues, analyzed findings from 20 randomized controlled trials which tested the potential of vitamin D supplements to reduce falls, in a total of 29535 people. The findings show that supplements do not reduce falls by 15% or more, meaning that the amount that vitamin D supplementation reduces fall risk at a population level is very low.

Falls can be devastating for older people, and strategies to reduce fall risk are urgently needed as the global population ages. The results of trials that have investigated the ability of vitamin D to prevent falls -- and those of previous meta-analyses -- have been mixed. It is unclear how vitamin D supplements might prevent falls but, until now, there has been enough positive evidence to support its recommendation by some health organizations.

Bolland and colleagues' findings add to those of previous meta-analyses by also applying trial sequential analysis, which predicts the potential of future trials with a similar design to sway existing evidence. Their results suggest that trials in progress are unlikely to overturn the finding that vitamin D supplements do not appreciably reduce falls, and they conclude that there is insufficient evidence to support prescribing vitamin D to reduce falls.

However, the authors report that existing evidence does not show whether vitamin D might reduce falls in particularly vulnerable older people -- ie, those who fall often. This is because most clinical trials report only the total number of falls in the study population, rather than the number of falls per person in the study.

According to Clifford Rosen of Maine Medical Research Institute, Scarborough, USA, and Christine Taylor of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA, both authors of a Comment linked to the study, "Whether a large trial is feasible in this vulnerable population remains to be established. Until then, we are left with uncertainty about the benefits of vitamin D supplementation for reduction in fall risk, particularly among vulnerable older people."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Mark J Bolland, Andrew Grey, Greg D Gamble, Ian R Reid. Vitamin D supplementation and falls: a trial sequential meta-analysis. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70068-3

Cite This Page:

The Lancet. "Vitamin D supplements have little effect on risk of falls in older people." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423221226.htm>.
The Lancet. (2014, April 23). Vitamin D supplements have little effect on risk of falls in older people. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423221226.htm
The Lancet. "Vitamin D supplements have little effect on risk of falls in older people." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423221226.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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