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Long term care – vitamin D most popular supplement – Jan 2012

Use of vitamin and mineral supplements in long-term care home residents.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Jan 11.
Viveky N, Toffelmire L, Thorpe L, Billinsky J, Alcorn J, Hadjistavropoulos T, Whiting SJ.
a College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5C9, Canada.

Vitamin-mineral supplementation may offer older adults health and cognition-related benefits but overuse may contribute to polypharmacy. We examined the prevalence of supplement usage in long-term care facility (LTC) residents (?65 years of age). As cognition may be affected by nutrition, we also examined use in those with diagnosis of dementia and those with no dementia diagnosis. The prevalence of supplement usage and overall "pill count" from pharmaceutical use was assessed in 189 LTC residents and a subsample of 56 older adults with dementia diagnosis, respectively. Participants were residing in an LTC facility of a mid-size metropolitan area during 2009.
The average use of supplements was 1.0 per day for all residents, with

  • 35% taking vitamin D supplements,
  • 20% multivitamins, and
  • 26% calcium.

Supplement use was similar (p ? 0.05) for those with dementia diagnosis (53%, average 2.0 per day) and for those without such diagnosis (45%, average 2.2 per day). Usage ranged between 1-6 supplements per day.
In both of these groups (with and without dementia),

  • ?73% of users were taking vitamin D.

The number of prescribed medications ranged from 4 to 24 (average 10.2) in a subsample of residents whose supplement intake was 0 to 6 (average 2). These findings suggest an overall low rate of supplement use, with no significant differences (p ? 0.05) in use between residents with and without dementia diagnosis. However, some residents were at risk for supplement overuse.

PMID: 22236283
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See also VitaminDWiki

Elderly vitamin D interactions