Vitamin D supplementation in a healthy, middle-aged population: actual practices based on data from a French comprehensive regional health-care database
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition , (2 October 2013) | doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.182
P Caillet, J C Souberbielle, S B Jaglal, A Reymondier, E Van Ganse, R Chapurlat and A M Schott
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The debate surrounding recommendations for vitamin D supplementation in middle-aged patients (that is, 20–60 years of age) with low serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) is growing. Our aim was to describe practices regarding vitamin D supplementation in this age group, which are basically unknown.
SUBJECTS/METHODS: We performed an analysis using exhaustive reimbursement data from the individuals in Rhône-Alpes area, a French region regrouping more than 6 million of inhabitants. The data were collected from the French Insurance Health-care System. Patients who were 20–60 years of age, had no severe comorbidities, had a 25(OH)D assay between 1 December 2008 and 31 January 2009 were identified. Those who received a subsequent prescription for vitamin D were included in this analysis. We described patterns of vitamin D supplementation by frequency and daily dose.
RESULTS: The sample in this study included 1311 patients. The mean age was 47.7 years (s.d.: 9.5) and the median age was 50.2 years.
Most of the participants (that is, 85.9%) were women.
Total of 372 distinct prescription patterns for vitamin D supplementation were observed.
The two most frequent (that is, 32.6% in total) involved a unique dispensation of a high dose of either
- 200 000 (17.5%) or
- 100 000 IU (15.1%).
Most prescribed supplements were based on vitamin D3 (65%), and the
- most prescribed forms were high dose ampoules (81.6%).
- Only 48.9% of the participants were given a maintenance prescription after the initial loading phase.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results reveal a significant variability in the prescriptions for vitamin D supplementation from physicians in the French population.
Moreover, less than half of the patients receive maintenance therapy after the initial loading phase of supplementation.