Vitamin D with calcium shown to reduce mortality in elderly

June 15, 2012

A study recently published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) suggests that vitamin D—when taken with calcium—can reduce the rate of mortality in seniors, therefore providing a possible means of increasing life expectancy.

During the last decade, there has been increasing recognition of the potential health effects of . It is well known that calcium with vitamin D supplements reduces the risk of fractures. The present study assessed mortality among patients randomized to either vitamin D alone or vitamin D with calcium. The findings from the study found that the reduced mortality was not due to a lower number of fractures, but represents a beneficial effect beyond the reduced fracture risk.

"This is the largest study ever performed on effects of calcium and vitamin D on mortality," said Lars Rejnmark, PhD, of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark and lead author of the study. "Our results showed reduced in elderly patients using vitamin D supplements in combination with calcium, but these results were not found in patients on vitamin D alone."

In this study, researchers used pooled data from eight randomized controlled trials with more than 1,000 participants each. The patient data set was comprised of nearly 90 percent women, with a median age of 70 years. During the three-year study, death was reduced by 9 percent in those treated with vitamin D with calcium.

"Some studies have suggested calcium (with or without vitamin D) supplements can have adverse effects on cardiovascular health," said Rejnmark. "Although our study does not rule out such effects, we found that with vitamin D supplementation to elderly participants is overall not harmful to survival, and may have beneficial effects on general health".

Explore further: Vitamin D: A double-edged sword in the fight against osteoporosis?

More information: The article "Vitamin D with calcium reduces mortality: patient level pooled analysis of 70,528 patients from eight major vitamin D trials", appears in the August 2012 issue of JCEM.

Related Stories

Vitamin D: A double-edged sword in the fight against osteoporosis?

April 23, 2012
Vitamin D is renowned for its role in creating strong bones and is a key regulator of serum calcium levels. Calcium is primarily obtained through diet and absorbed through the intestine and into the blood stream. In addition ...

Vitamin D can help elderly women survive

July 6, 2011
Giving vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) to predominantly elderly women, mainly in institutional care, seems to increase survival. These women are likely to be vitamin D deficient with a significant risk of falls and fractures. ...

Vitamin D deficiency linked to higher mortality in female nursing home residents

March 6, 2012
The majority of institutionalized elderly female patients are vitamin D deficient and there is an inverse association of vitamin D deficiency and mortality, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine ...

Vitamin D intake may be associated with lower stress fracture risk in girls

March 5, 2012
Vitamin D may be associated with a lower risk of developing stress fractures in preadolescent and adolescent girls, especially among those very active in high-impact activities, according to a report published Online First ...

Recommended for you

To reduce postoperative pain, consider sleep—and caffeine

August 18, 2017
Sleep is essential for good mental and physical health, and chronic insufficient sleep increases the risk for several chronic health problems.

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, researchers find

August 17, 2017
A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by ...

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

August 17, 2017
Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.