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The prevention of vitamin D deficiency in the elderly

, : The prevention of vitamin D deficiency in the elderly. Scottish Medical Journal 31(3): 144-149

Vitamin D deficiency is common in the house-bound and institutionalized elderly population of Britain. A study of patients over 65 years discharged with a diagnosis of osteomalacia from Greater Glasgow Health Board [Scotland, UK] hospitals between 1970 and 1981 inclusive showed a low incidence in the 65 to 74 years age group but a steeply rising incidence in older age groups. The majority (83%) of patients were female. The fortification of margarine, butter and milk with concentrations of vitamin D acceptable to the general population does not produce significant elevations in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels in vitamin D-deficient elderly patients. Low intensity background ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and intermittent high intensity UVR produce significant elevations in serum 25-HD levels in elderly patients but both methods have disadvantages which limit their widespread use. Vitamin D supplements equivalent to 10 .mu.g daily produce significant elevations in serum 25-OHD levels in vitamin D-deficient elderly patients. A vitamin D supplement policy for the housebound and institutionalized elderly population of Britain is required.

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Accession: 006740658

PMID: 3798077

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