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Free Vitamin D in New Zealand to prevent falls in nursing homes (50,000 IU monthly) – June 2016

Vitamin D status and its predictors in New Zealand aged-care residents eligible for a government-funded universal vitamin D supplementation programme.

Public Health Nutr. 2016 Jul 25:1-12. [Epub ahead of print]
MacDonell SO1, Miller JC1, Harper MJ1, Waters DL2, Houghton LA1.
1 Department of Human Nutrition,University of Otago,PO Box 56,Dunedin 9054,New Zealand.
2 Department of Medicine/School of Physiotherapy,Dunedin School of Medicine,University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


OBJECTIVE:
The provision of prescribed vitamin D to all aged-care residents has been implemented in New Zealand as part of a government-led falls prevention programme. To our knowledge, there has been no evaluation of this universal programme on vitamin D status and functional and health outcomes. Thus, we aimed to determine 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and their predictors in aged-care residents across the country and to investigate whether the government-funded programme was associated with adequate vitamin D status.

DESIGN:
Cross-sectional survey of sociodemographic, biochemical, anthropometric, dietary and health characteristics. Blood samples were analysed for serum 25(OH)D and other biochemical measures. Multiple regression was used to examine predictors of vitamin D status.

SETTING:
Sixteen residential aged-care facilities throughout New Zealand.

SUBJECTS:
Residents aged =60 years with residency duration >12 weeks (n 309).

RESULTS:
Mean serum 25(OH)D was 89·9 (95 % CI 85·2, 94·5) nmol/l and monthly supplements (1250 µg (50 000 IU)) were taken by 75 % of all residents.
Of those not taking a funded supplement, 65·3 % had serum 25(OH)D 125 nmol/l.

CONCLUSIONS:
Residents taking supplemental vitamin D had adequate vitamin D status; however monitoring of long-term supplementation should be considered, due to the high proportion of participants with high serum 25(OH)D levels.

PMID: 27453540

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