Calcium and Vitamin D3 Supplementation for Primary Prevention of Fractures

3 Supplementation For Primary Prevention of Fractures
A Review of the Literature

Ryan Foster, MD, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

Matthew T. Oughton, MD, Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, PQ.

Shabbir M.H. Alibhai, MD, MSc, FRCP(C), Staff Physician, Department of Medicine, University Health Network, Toronto, ON.

Fractures are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in older adults. Previous studies indicated that fracture prevention with vitamin D supplementation, with or without calcium, was achievable only in limited populations. The most recent trial in this field, a randomized, placebo-controlled study by Trivedi, et al., found that large vitamin D doses given every four months are effective for primary prevention of fractures in the community-based older population. This study is critically reviewed in the context of previous studies, and recommendations are made about the role of calcium and vitamin D supplementation in fracture prevention.
Key words: osteoporosis, fracture prevention, vitamin D, calcium, supplementation.