Trends in calcium and vitamin D usage among older people in nursing care facilities in Australia: still falling short of the guidelines
Article first published online: 11 NOV 2008
© 2008 Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology
International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases
Volume 11, Issue 4, pages 430–434, December 2008
How to Cite
SÀNCHEZ RIERA, L., WILSON, N. M., SAMBROOK, P. N., KOK, C., CUMMING, R. G., CAMERON, I. D., CHEN, J. S., SIMPSON, J., MASON, R. S., SEIBEL, M. J. and MARCH, L. M. (2008), Trends in calcium and vitamin D usage among older people in nursing care facilities in Australia: still falling short of the guidelines. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, 11: 430–434. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-185X.2008.00396.x
- Issue published online: 11 NOV 2008
- Article first published online: 11 NOV 2008
- drug treatment;
Objective: To determine the impact of awareness-raising strategies of calcium and vitamin D supplements in the active management of bone health of older people living in nursing care facilities in Australia.
Design: We compared data drawn from two prospective cohort studies that have evaluated falls and fractures in older people living in hostels (intermediate care facilities): the FREE study (conducted from 1996–2002, n = 1107) and the ongoing FREEDOM study (commenced in 2006, n = 1284 screened individuals). Both studies recruited older people living in a large number of nursing care facilities in northern Sydney (Australia).
Results: We found a small but significant increase in both calcium and vitamin D supplementation in the FREEDOM study participants compared to those in the FREE study. Calcium alone increased from 6.2% to 10.5% (P = 0.0002), vitamin D alone from 5.8% to 7.9% (P = 0.04) and the combined use of calcium and vitamin D increased from 1.6% to 11.9% (P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: There appears to be increasing awareness of the need for calcium and vitamin D supplementation in older people in nursing care facilities. However, given the high prevalence of osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency among this population, the levels of supplementation achieved must still be considered suboptimal for treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and falls.