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      The use of calcium and vitamin D in the management of osteoporosis

      Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management

      Dove Medical Press

      osteoporosis, calcium, vitamin D, osteopenia, hip fracture, bone

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          Abstract

          Osteoporosis poses a significant public health issue, causing significant morbidity and mortality. Calcium and vitamin D utilization in the optimization of bone health is often overlooked by patients and health care providers. In addition, the optimal standard of care for osteoporosis should encompass adequate calcium and vitamin D intake. Dietary intake or supplementation with calcium and vitamin D will be reviewed, including recent recommendations for increased vitamin D intake. Compliance to calcium and vitamin D therapy is paramount for effective prevention of osteoporotic fractures. A recently released algorithm (FRAX) estimating absolute fracture risk allows the health care provider to decide when pharmacologic therapy is warranted in addition to calcium and vitamin D. When pharmacologic therapy is advised, continued use of calcium and vitamin D is recommended for optimal fracture risk reduction. A ‘bricks and mortar’ analogy is often helpful when counseling patients and this analogy will be explained. This manuscript reviews relevant data related to calcium and vitamin D use for patients at risk for fracture due to bone loss.

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          Most cited references 41

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          Vitamin D3 and calcium to prevent hip fractures in the elderly women.

          Hypovitaminosis D and a low calcium intake contribute to increased parathyroid function in elderly persons. Calcium and vitamin D supplements reduce this secondary hyperparathyroidism, but whether such supplements reduce the risk of hip fractures among elderly people is not known. We studied the effects of supplementation with vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and calcium on the frequency of hip fractures and other nonvertebral fractures, identified radiologically, in 3270 healthy ambulatory women (mean [+/- SD] age, 84 +/- 6 years). Each day for 18 months, 1634 women received tricalcium phosphate (containing 1.2 g of elemental calcium) and 20 micrograms (800 IU) of vitamin D3, and 1636 women received a double placebo. We measured serial serum parathyroid hormone and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations in 142 women and determined the femoral bone mineral density at base line and after 18 months in 56 women. Among the women who completed the 18-month study, the number of hip fractures was 43 percent lower (P = 0.043) and the total number of nonvertebral fractures was 32 percent lower (P = 0.015) among the women treated with vitamin D3 and calcium than among those who received placebo. The results of analyses according to active treatment and according to intention to treat were similar. In the vitamin D3-calcium group, the mean serum parathyroid hormone concentration had decreased by 44 percent from the base-line value at 18 months (P < 0.001) and the serum 25(OH)D concentration had increased by 162 percent over the base-line value (P < 0.001). The bone density of the proximal femur increased 2.7 percent in the vitamin D3-calcium group and decreased 4.6 percent in the placebo group (P < 0.001). Supplementation with vitamin D3 and calcium reduces the risk of hip fractures and other nonvertebral fractures among elderly women.
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            Resurrection of vitamin D deficiency and rickets.

            The epidemic scourge of rickets in the 19th century was caused by vitamin D deficiency due to inadequate sun exposure and resulted in growth retardation, muscle weakness, skeletal deformities, hypocalcemia, tetany, and seizures. The encouragement of sensible sun exposure and the fortification of milk with vitamin D resulted in almost complete eradication of the disease. Vitamin D (where D represents D2 or D3) is biologically inert and metabolized in the liver to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], the major circulating form of vitamin D that is used to determine vitamin D status. 25(OH)D is activated in the kidneys to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D], which regulates calcium, phosphorus, and bone metabolism. Vitamin D deficiency has again become an epidemic in children, and rickets has become a global health issue. In addition to vitamin D deficiency, calcium deficiency and acquired and inherited disorders of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus metabolism cause rickets. This review summarizes the role of vitamin D in the prevention of rickets and its importance in the overall health and welfare of infants and children.
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              Prevalence of Vitamin D inadequacy among postmenopausal North American women receiving osteoporosis therapy.

              To evaluate serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations and factors related to vitamin D inadequacy in postmenopausal North American women receiving therapy to treat or prevent osteoporosis. Serum 25(OH)D and PTH were obtained in 1536 community-dwelling women between November 2003 and March 2004. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess risk factors for suboptimal (<30 ng/ml) 25(OH)D. Ninety-two percent of study subjects were Caucasian, with a mean age of 71 yr. Thirty-five percent resided at or above latitude 42 degrees north, and 24% resided less than 35 degrees north. Mean (sd) serum 25(OH)D was 30.4 (13.2) ng/ml: serum 25(OH)D was less than 20 ng/ml in 18%; less than 25 ng/ml in 36%; and less than 30 ng/ml in 52%. Prevalence of suboptimal 25(OH)D was significantly higher in subjects who took less than 400 vs. 400 IU/d or more vitamin D. There was a significant negative correlation between serum PTH concentrations and 25(OH)D. Risk factors related to vitamin D inadequacy included age, race, body mass index, medications known to affect vitamin D metabolism, vitamin D supplementation, exercise, education, and physician counseling regarding vitamin D. More than half of North American women receiving therapy to treat or prevent osteoporosis have vitamin D inadequacy, underscoring the need for improved physician and public education regarding optimization of vitamin D status in this population.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                August 2008
                August 2008
                : 4
                : 4
                : 827-836
                Affiliations
                MenopauseRx, Inc., Uniontown, PA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: John A Sunyecz, President, MenopauseRx, Inc., 77 Wiggins, Lane, Uniontown, PA 15401, USA, Tel +1 724 322 3665, Fax +1 724 438 8856, Email sunyecz@ 123456menopauserx.com
                Article
                tcrm-4-827
                2621390
                19209265
                © 2008 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved
                Categories
                Review

                Medicine

                bone, osteoporosis, vitamin d, osteopenia, calcium, hip fracture

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