A CME Journal For Family Physicians


Calcium, Vitamin D May Not Help to Prevent Fractures

Calcium and vitamin D supplements do not protect against hip and other fractures in older adults, according to the results of a recent study.
Current guidelines recommend the use of calcium and 
vitamin D supplementation in older adults with osteoporosis for the prevention of fractures, despite mixed results from previous studies.
The researchers examined data on 51,145 adults over 50 years of age who participated in 33 randomized clinical trials that compared supplementation with placebo or no treatment.
Overall, there was no significant association between calcium or vitamin D supplementation and risk of hip fracture compared with placebo or no treatment, and no association between combined vitamin D and calcium use and risk of hip fracture. Subgroup analysis showed that results were generally consistent despite dose, sex, fracture history, diet, and baseline serum vitamin D concentration.
“In this meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials, the use of supplements that included calcium, vitamin D, or both compared with placebo or no treatment was not associated with a lower risk of fractures among community-dwelling older adults. These findings do not support the routine use of these supplements in community-dwelling older people.”

Zhao J, Zeng X, Wang J, et al. Association between calcium or vitamin D supplementation and fracture incidence in community-dwelling older adults. JAMA. 2017;318(24):2466-2482.