Insignificant medium-term vitamin D status change after 25-hydroxyvitamin D testing in a large managed care population.
PLoS One. 2014 Aug 19;9(8):e105571. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105571. eCollection 2014.
Wei M1, Yu R2, Deutsch SC1.
To examine the clinical utility of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) testing in achieving medium-term vitamin D (VD) sufficiency in a managed care population.
Retrospective study of a continuously-enrolled patient population in a 3-year period between 2011 and 2013. Primary outcome was VD status at ∼1 year after 25(OH)D testing. Patient demographics, comorbidities, medications, and 25(OH)D test results were gathered from relevant databases and multivariate logistic regression analysis used to study the risk factors of persistent VD deficiency or insufficiency.
Of 22,784 patients, 7533 (females 69.3%) did 14,563 25(OH)D tests, with an estimated cost of $582,520. Of the 7533 patients, 1126 had another 25(OH)D test at 300-400 days after the first one. Based on the two test results, 234 patients (20.8%) maintained sufficient 25(OH)D levels; 132 (11.7%) turned from VD-sufficient into VD-insufficient or -deficient; 538 (47.8%) remained VD-insufficient or -deficient, and only 222 (19.7%) improved to be VD-sufficient. Overall, only 8.0% more patients were VD-sufficient at ∼1 year after 25(OH)D testing. Only younger age and higher BMI were independent risk factors for persistent low 25(OH)D levels and high-dose VD use was not associated with achieving VD sufficiency.
25(OH)D testing only benefits a small portion of patients thus lacks clinical utility in achieving VD sufficiency in the medium term but incurs a significant cost. A practical strategy to treat VD deficiency or insufficiency is needed; without it, 25(OH)D testing adds little value to most patients' health and should be used with discretion.
VitaminDWiki assumes that many who got a low score on the initial vitamin D test added enough vitamin D that they did not feel a need to get a second test. This study seems to ignore this possibility
- After 245,000 free vitamin D tests, 121,000 supplemented, but only 5,400 had 2nd test – Oct 2011 similar 3 years before.