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Low vitamin D levels may raise hip fracture risk

Published on

14 June 2013

According to a new study from Norway insufficient supply of vitamin D seems to significantly increase the risk of suffering a hip fracture for older adults.

In the prospective cohort study, measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and documented cases of hip fracture of 21,774 men and women aged 65–79 over an average of eight years (1). The study results showed that participants with the lowest blood vitamin D concentrations (below 42.2 nmol/l resp.
17 ng/ml) had a 38% increased risk of hip fracture compared with the highest levels (above 67.9 nmol/l resp. 27 ng/ml). The hip fracture risk fell continuously with increasing serum levels of the vitamin, with the steepest and most consistent decrease at levels in the magnitude of 40 to 60 nmol/L. The association was stronger in men than in women.

The researchers concluded that low vitamin D status is a risk factor for hip fracture. The results also suggest a preventive effect occurring at levels above 75 nmol/L compared with levels below 50 nmol/L, they added. Norway, a high-latitude country where low sun exposure exacerbates vitamin D insufficiency, has one of the highest hip fracture rates worldwide.


  1. Holvik K. et al. Low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D predict hip fracture in the elderly. A NOREPOS study. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Published online May 2013.

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