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Stress fractures take longer to heal if low vitamin D – Aug 2020

British Army recruits with low serum vitamin D take longer to recover from stress fractures

BMJ Mil Health. 2020 Aug;166(4):240-242. doi: 10.1136/jramc-2018-000983
Thomas Richards 1, C Wright 2 3
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Background: Recruits undergoing military training experience a particularly high incidence of stress fractures. The role of combined calcium and vitamin D (25-OHD) deficiency and subsequent supplementation has been well described in the literature, but the role of 25-OHD deficiency alone is less well understood, particularly its influence on recovery once a stress fracture has been incurred.

Methods: Retrospective data of recruits who had incurred stress fractures were collected (n=37). Independent-samples t-tests were conducted in Microsoft Excel to investigate the association between serum-25 OHD and the time taken to recover.

Results: Significant differences (p<0.05) were found in the mean time taken to recover from stress fractures when participants were grouped according to serum 25-OHD level. Sufficient levels of serum 25-OHD (>50 nmol/L) at the time of injury resulted in shorter recovery times than all other groups.

Conclusion: The study demonstrated an association between serum 25-OHD level and the time taken to recover from a stress fracture. The sample population of this study was too small to contribute to the discussion about whether a minimum serum 25-OHD status should be met before entering British Army training, but a larger prospective study should be able to provide the data required for a cost benefit analysis to be conducted and a decision made.


Created by admin. Last Modification: Wednesday May 5, 2021 20:21:23 GMT-0000 by admin. (Version 6)

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15546 Recovery time F1.jpg admin 05 May, 2021 20:13 25.88 Kb 151
15545 Recovery time F2.jpg admin 05 May, 2021 20:13 23.67 Kb 159
15544 Recover from stress fracture.pdf PDF 2020 admin 05 May, 2021 20:12 278.32 Kb 155
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