Estimated economic benefit of increasing 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations of Canadians to or above 100 nmol/L
Dermato-Endocrinology , Volume 8, 2016 - Issue 1, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19381980.2016.1248324
William B. Grant, Susan J. Whiting, Gerry K. Schwalfenberg, Stephen J. Genuis & Samantha M. Kimball
The study did not include the costs for increasing the vitamin D levels
The following is my pessimistic estimate of the cost to increase Vitamin D levels for ALL Canadians
This assumes that all costs are born by the government, not by the individual.
Guess costs = $100 per person/year (if give vitamin D for free, education, marketing, free testing, etc)
There are 32,000,000 Canadians
Cost = $3.2 Billion ==> Net savings would be $3 billion to $15 billion
$8 billion savings @ 40 ng ==> $250 per Canadian
Table 9. Reduction in 7 health problems
|Reduction due to |
improving vitamin D status
|Cardiovascular Disease||14 %|
|Diabetes Mellitus||18 %|
|Multiple Sclerosis||40 %|
|Osteoporosis (hip fractures)||22 %|
|Respiratory infections||25 %|
|16 % (20% ?)|
Note: The calculation does not appear to incorporate savings due to
- Other health problems: Asthma, Pregnancy, Gut problems, Autism, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Sepsis, TB, Dental, Back Pain, Drug usage. Rickets, Long-term disability, Allergy, Depression, . . .
- Reduced sick time and improved productivity
Able to stay employed (not on disability)
Suspect that the reduction in doctor visits and a reduction beyond the original health problems would double the cost savings
See also VitaminDWiki
- Cost savings with Vitamin D category listing has
95 items along with related searches
- Vitamin D could save More than 10,000 Canadian lives annually 2009 - Dr. Grant was a co-author
- 42 studies with GRANT in VitaminDWiki title as of Dec 2022
- Increase life expectancy by 2 years if double vitamin D levels – Grant July 2011
- Increasing German levels of vitamin D to 30 ng could save 18,300 lives annually - Dec 2009
- Dr. Grant on vitamin D and mortality in VitaminDWiki
- Dr. who got patients to vitamin D level of 80 ng Doctor visits dropped from 4 per year to 1 per year
- Is 50 ng of vitamin D too high, just right, or not enough
The TOP articles in Cost Savings and Vitamin D are listed here:
- Diabetes Prevention Program funded by many (Vitamin D would be much better) – Aug 2018
- A Health Insurance company is giving free Vitamin D to members who are deficient – Aug 2018
- Hospital costs higher if lower vitamin D
- Adding Iodine to salt added 11 percent to goiter states income (how much might vitamin D add) – July 2018
- Emotional Value of a Product (such as Vitamin D)
- ICU cost reduced by at least 27,000 dollars if get high dose vitamin D in first week - April 2017
- Costs of Pregnancy much reduced by Vitamin D
- Increasing the vitamin D level of all Canadians to 40 ng would save 6 to 18 billion dollars a year – Grant Nov 2016
- UK patients given vitamin D for 3 months were 16 percent less likely to be readmitted – Sept 2016
- Vitamin D once during pregnancy reduced infant health care costs (300 times ROI) – RCT Dec 2015
- 18 fewer hospital days if given 500,000 IU of vitamin D while ventilated in ICU – RCT June 2016
- Do not expect a doctor to recommend a pill which will eliminate his job (vitamin D)
- Surgical outcomes are better for higher levels of Vitamin D – systematic review May 2015
- UK would save as least 636 million dollars annually by giving 800 IU vitamin D free to all seniors – June 2014
- VA showed increased vitamin D associated with lower health costs - Lancet May 2012
Many vitamin D articles and videos by Schwalfenberg in Canada
Cited by 36 studies as of Dec 2022
- A Review of the Potential Benefits of Increasing Vitamin D Status in Mongolian Adults through Food Fortification and Vitamin D Supplementation - Oct 2019 10.3390/nu11102452 PDF
- Econometric methods for secondary data in health research - Dissertation Fall 2019 https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-e75f-sc19 PDF
Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki
Mounting evidence from observational and clinical trials indicates that optimal vitamin D reduces the risk of many diseases. We used observational studies and recent data on 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations of Canadians from Cycle 3 of the Canadian Health Measures Survey to estimate the reduction in disease incidence, mortality rates, and the total economic burden (direct plus indirect) of disease if 25(OH)D concentrations of all Canadians were raised to or above 100 nmol/L. Recently, the mean 25(OH)D concentration of Canadians varied depending on age and season (51–69 nmol/L), with an overall mean of 61 nmol/L.
The diseases affected by 25(OH)D concentration included
- cardiovascular disease,
- diabetes mellitus,
- multiple sclerosis,
- respiratory infections, and
- musculoskeletal disorders
We used 25(OH)D concentration–health outcome relations for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease and results of clinical trials with vitamin D for respiratory infections and musculoskeletal disorders to estimate the reductions in disease burden for increased 25(OH)D concentrations. If all Canadians attained 25(OH)D concentrations>100 nmol/L, the calculated reduction in annual economic burden of disease was $12.5 ± 6 billion on the basis of economic burdens for 2016 and a reduction in annual premature deaths by 23,000 (11,000–34,000) on the basis of rates for 2011. However, the effects on disease incidence, economic burden, and mortality rate would be phased in gradually over several years primarily because once a chronic disease is established, vitamin D affects its progression only modestly. Nevertheless, national policy changes are justified to improve vitamin D status of Canadians through the promotion of safe sun exposure messages, vitamin D supplement use, and/or facilitation of food fortification.
News Release on the study by Vitamin D Society in Canada Nov 2016
Study finds boosting vitamin D could save 23,000 Canadians lives, $12.5 billion in healthcare spending
Researchers urge national health policy changes to battle Canadian vitamin D deficiency
TORONTO, Ont. (November 21, 2016) – Increasing vitamin D intake could spare 23,000 Canadians premature deaths annually and save Canada $12.5 billion in healthcare spending and associated costs, says a new study on vitamin D deficiency.
The study, published by Dermato-Endocrinology examines the devastating medical and financial toll Canadians suffer because they don’t get enough vitamin D.
“This research really should act as a wake-up call for policy-makers in Canada,” said study co-author Dr. William Grant, a researcher with the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco, CA. “Thousands of lives and billions of dollars could be saved by bringing in policy changes that promote messaging around safe sun exposure, vitamin D supplement use and eating foods fortified with vitamin D.”
Researchers determined Canadian vitamin D levels have actually been dropping since the last time a similar study was carried out in 2010, putting more people at risk of life-threatening illnesses.
Vitamin D levels in the blood are measured in nanomoles per litre (nmol/L) using what’s called the 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test (25 (OH)D). In Canada, doctor lab tests consider the normal range to be between 75 to 150 nmol/L or higher in some provinces. The study determined Canadians have a mean level of vitamin D which measures 61 nmol/L. That represents a drop from a level of 67 nmol/L in 2010. Health Canada’s guidelines recommend maintaining vitamin D levels of at least 50 nmol/L.
However, researchers estimated that if Canadians could raise their mean level of vitamin D to at least 100 nmol/L, it would prevent approximately 23,000 premature deaths and save $12.5 billion annually in direct health care and related costs.
Only approximately 10% of Canadians currently have vitamin D levels that exceed 100 nmol/L, while one-third of Canadians don’t even meet Health Canada’s minimum recommended target of 50 nmol/L. The diseases which were estimated to be reduced through higher vitamin D levels in the study included: cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis (hip fractures), and respiratory infections.
“Safe sun exposure is the main source for our bodies to absorb UVB rays and generate vitamin D,” said study co-author Dr. Gerry Schwalfenberg, a scientific advisor to the Vitamin D Society and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Alberta. “Unfortunately, many Canadians are staying out of the sun altogether to avoid health risks associated with burning exposure. The reality is that they could be doing themselves more harm than good by not getting moderate amounts of sun to boost vitamin D.”
Even if they’re not deliberately dodging the sun, it can be difficult for Canadians to tap into the positive impact of UVB rays. Due to Canada’s northern latitude, the sun’s rays are not strong enough from November to May for Canadians to generate vitamin D naturally.
For vitamin D intake during winter months, the Vitamin D Society recommends Canadians use artificial UVB sources or supplements.
The study noted the average Canadian adult would need up to 4,000 international units per day (IU/d) of vitamin D3 to increase their levels to at least 100 nmol/L. The U.S. Institute of Medicine determined that 4,000 IU/d was a safe adult dose and does not require doctor supervision.
“We’re confident our research shows national health policy changes are justified to improve the vitamin D status of Canadians through the promotion of safe sun messages, vitamin D supplement use, and food fortification,” said Dr. Schwalfenberg.
“November is Vitamin D Awareness Month. A time when we begin the vitamin D winter where the sun is not strong enough to produce vitamin D through our skin. All Canadians should assess and improve their vitamin D intake to ensure they achieve optimal blood levels of between 100-150 nmol/L,” said Perry Holman, Executive Director of the Vitamin D Society.
To read the full study, please visit http://tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/19381980.2016.1248324?needAccess=true.
About the Vitamin D Society:
The Vitamin D Society is a Canadian non-profit group organized to increase awareness of the many health conditions strongly linked to vitamin D deficiency; encourage people to be proactive in protecting their health and have their vitamin D levels tested annually; and help fund valuable vitamin D research. The Vitamin D Society recommends people achieve and maintain optimal 25(OH)D blood levels between 100 – 150 nmol/L (Can) or 40-60 ng/ml (USA).
To learn more about vitamin D, please visit www.vitamindsociety.orgIncreasing the vitamin D level of all Canadians to 40 ng would save 6 to 18 billion dollars a year – Grant Nov 2016
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