Vitamin D supplementation is suggested to reduce the risk of falls in older institutionalized or ambulatory individuals by 20%. The present study was undertaken to address the reduced risk, by vitamin D supplementation, of falls and hip fractures in patients with vascular Parkinsonism (VP) and Parkinson’s disease (PD).
In the open-label-study, 94 elderly patients with VP and 92 age-matched patients with PD were followed for 2 years. All patients received 1200 IU ergocalciferol daily. The number of falls per person and incidence of hip fractures were compared between the two groups.
At baseline, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels were in the deficient range (<25 nmol/L) in all patients, and vitamin D treatment enhanced serum 25-OHD and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels in both groups. Improved muscle strength of lower extremities was observed in both groups. There was significant difference between the two groups in the number of falls per subject during the 2 years (1.9 ± 0.5 in the PD group and 0.8 ± 0.4 in the VP group, P < 0.001). Hip fractures occurred in seven of 88 in the PD group and one in 90 of the VP group during the 2-year study period ( P = 0.035).