Widespread vitamin D deficiency among nursing home residents linked to earlier death; strategies to improve vitamin D status "urgently needed"
Friday, March 9, 2012. A study of nursing home residents described in an article scheduled for publication in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism reveals a link between being deficient in vitamin D and having a greater risk of dying over more than two years of follow up. While reduced vitamin D levels have been associated with an increased risk of premature mortality in the general population, the association in an institutionalized population has not been well explored.
The study included 961 nursing home residents residing in Austria whose age was greater than 70 years. Participants' serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels averaged 17.5 nanomoles per liter, and 92.8 percent of the subjects had levels lower than the recommended 50 nanomoles per liter.
Over an average follow-up of 27 months, 284 deaths occurred. For subjects whose vitamin D level was among the lowest 25 percent of participants at less than 14 nanomoles per liter, the risk of dying was 49 percent greater than those whose level was highest at over 25.5 nanomoles per liter. Adjustment for various factors failed to significantly modify the association. "We believe that our findings, together with previous data on institutionalized elderly, strongly point to the need for immediate action to prevent and treat vitamin D deficiency in these patients," the authors write. "Considering the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency it seems reasonable to initiate vitamin D supplementation (at least 800 IU per day) even without previous 25-hydroxyvitamin D testing in such individuals."
"Our findings show that the vast majority of nursing home residents are severely vitamin D deficient and those with the lowest vitamin D levels are at high risk of mortality," commented lead author Stefan Pilz, MD, of the Medical University of Graz, Austria.
"Vitamin D supplementation in these patients can exert significant benefits on clinically relevant outcomes such as fractures," he added. "In light of our findings, and the existing literature on adverse effects of vitamin D deficiency, there exists now an urgent need for effective strategies to improve vitamin D status in older institutionalized patients."
Everything I have read for the past few years indicate that most of us are deficient in Vitamin D, and I imagine that the elderly are at greater risk. I for ONE have been taking 5000 mg of Vitamin D3 on average now for perhaps 5 years or more.
The following LINK concerns itself with low Vitamin D levels and SUDDEN cardiac death.
The study evaluated 2,312 men and women who were free of cardiovascular disease upon enrollment in the Cardiovascular Health Study, which studied the risk of the disease in older individuals. Blood samples stored between 1992 and 1993 were analyzed for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and parathyroid hormone levels. Participants were followed for a median of 14 years, during which 73 sudden cardiac deaths occurred.
While only two sudden cardiac deaths per 1000 occurred among those whose 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were at least 20 nanograms per milliliter, the amount doubled in those whose levels were lower. Similarly, high parathyroid levels of 65 picograms per milliliter or more were associated with twice the number of SCDs compared to lower levels. For the 11.7 percent who had low vitamin D and high parathyroid levels, the risk of sudden cardiac death was more than twice that of subjects with normal levels.
While no single test or study or report is the final word on Vitamin D, I submit that there is considerable evidence that most of us do not get enough Vitamin D and there are health consequences because of it.
PLEASE check it out for yourself, and take a look at this last LINK from an article by Dr. David Williams:
Dr. Williams was my first clue that most of us do not get enough Vitamin D3 and I started taking it because of his newsletter. You will find his article interesting:
How to prevent a vitamin D deficiencyNumerous studies and the epidemiological trends over recent years support the theory that people need significantly more vitamin D than has been commonly accepted. A University of Toronto study involving 796 women between the ages of 18 and 35 showed that the generally recommended amounts of vitamin D for women are too low to offer any benefit. According to Reinhold Vieth and his colleagues, any amount of daily vitamin D intake under 800 IU wasn’t enough to prevent a vitamin D deficiency.
Despite this information and more, the US Food and Nutrition board for osteoporosis-related matters still recommends only 400 IU per day for women under the age of 50.
The evidence for increased Vitamin D continues to grow, but, for some reason, it also continues to be ignored. You already know the important role it plays in building and maintaining a strong immune system, and vitamin D levels also are linked to more than just proper bone growth and strength. Some of the most common health ailments today can be directly linked to inadequate vitamin D levels.
Heart Disease and DiabetesHeart disease continues to reign as the number-one killer in this country. Although dozens of factors are involved in developing heart disease, excess sugar consumption and the inability to regulate blood sugar levels properly are undoubtedly two of the major contributing factors. Studies have now shown that low vitamin D levels decrease insulin levels and increase insulin resistance, both of which are associated with diabetes and subsequent cardiovascular problems.
I’ve also reported how the incidence of diabetes in children has been skyrocketing over the last couple of decades. Lower vitamin D levels have now been found to be one of the contributing factors.
(MY INPUT): PLEASE do your own research as "Only You Can Prevent Forrest Fires" as Smokey Bear used to say when I was a kid.
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.