Aim: To investigate vitamin D status among older women and to explore relationships between vitamin D and fracture risk and vertebral fractures.
Methods: A total of 267 general practitioners recruited 2466 women aged >70 years with no known osteoporosis or fragility fracture. Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D), bone mineral density by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and vertebral fracture on thoracolumbar X-ray were determined.
Results: A total of 2368 women, median age 76 years, provided data and of these 13% were on vitamin D supplements. 25(OH)D levels were available for 907 (44.1%) of those not taking vitamin D. 88.3% of these had a level below 75 nmol/L. Serum 25(OH)D was negatively associated with age (P = 0.003) and body mass index (P < 0.001), and positively associated with lower latitude, femoral neck DXA T-score (P = 0.044) and being Caucasian (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: The vitamin D status of community-dwelling older Australian women is inadequate, yet the use of supplements is low.