Vitamin D Deficiency

An article in Modern Medicine calls for new strategies to address the issue of Vitamin D deficiency in female nursing home residents. The article cites a study that has found large number of elderly female residents deficient in Vitamin D during the winter months. It reports increased risk of death in women already suffering from low levels of the vitamin.

Experts blame the deficiency on a combination of low exposure to sunlight, dietary causes as well as the inability of the aged skin to receive the vitamin. 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations are known to increase the risk of death in the general population. Researchers have now begun trace these deficiencies to the mortality of elderly females. In a study of 961 female patients from 95 nursing homes in Austria, 92.8% were found to have levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D below the required amount. 269 deaths were noted 27 months later. Experts urgently recommend strategies to address the deficiency and advise supplementation in the elderly female population.

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