Vitamin D, Calcium, or Combined Supplementation for the Primary Prevention of Fractures in Community-Dwelling Adults: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

 US Preventive Services Task Force , Grossman D, Curry S, Owens D, Barry M, Caughey A, Davidson K, Doubeni C, Epling J, Kemper A, Krist A, Kubik M, Landefeld S, Mangione C, Silverstein M, Simon M, Tseng C

 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) 319 (15), 1592-1599 (Apr 2018)

Importance  Because of the aging population, osteoporotic fractures are an increasingly important cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Approximately 2 million osteoporotic fractures occurred in the United States in 2005, and annual incidence is projected to increase to more than 3 million fractures by 2025. Within 1 year of experiencing a hip fracture, many patients are unable to walk independently, more than half require assistance with activities of daily living, and 20% to 30% of patients will die.

Objective To update the 2013 US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on vitamin D supplementation, with or without calcium, to prevent fractures.

Evidence Review The USPSTF reviewed the evidence on vitamin D, calcium, and combined supplementation for the primary prevention of fractures in community-dwelling adults (defined as not living in a nursing home or other institutional care setting). The review excluded studies conducted in populations with a known disorder related to bone metabolism (eg, osteoporosis or vitamin D deficiency), taking medications known to be associated with osteoporosis (eg, long-term steroids), or with a previous fracture.

Findings The USPSTF found inadequate evidence to estimate the benefits of vitamin D, calcium, or combined supplementation to prevent fractures in community-dwelling men and premenopausal women. The USPSTF found adequate evidence that daily supplementation with 400 IU or less of vitamin D and 1000 mg or less of calcium has no benefit for the primary prevention of fractures in community-dwelling, postmenopausal women. The USPSTF found inadequate evidence to estimate the benefits of doses greater than 400 IU of vitamin D or greater than 1000 mg of calcium to prevent fractures in community-dwelling postmenopausal women. The USPSTF found adequate evidence that supplementation with vitamin D and calcium increases the incidence of kidney stones.

Conclusions and Recommendation The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of the benefits and harms of vitamin D and calcium supplementation, alone or combined, for the primary prevention of fractures in community-dwelling, asymptomatic men and premenopausal women. (I statement) The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of the benefits and harms of daily supplementation with doses greater than 400 IU of vitamin D and greater than 1000 mg of calcium for the primary prevention of fractures in community-dwelling, postmenopausal women. (I statement) The USPSTF recommends against daily supplementation with 400 IU or less of vitamin D and 1000 mg or less of calcium for the primary prevention of fractures in community-dwelling, postmenopausal women. (D recommendation) These recommendations do not apply to persons with a history of osteoporotic fractures, increased risk for falls, or a diagnosis of osteoporosis or vitamin D deficiency.

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