02/02/2010 - News

Vitamin D May Reduce Falls

By: June Chen, MD


Falls are common events in hospitals and nursing homes, and falls contribute to increased disability and even death among older people. A recent systematic review published online in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews reported that vitamin D supplementation and review of medications by a pharmacist may help to lower the number of falls among nursing home residents.

The goal of this review was to determine the effectiveness of different interventions designed to reduce falls by older people in hospitals and nursing homes. The review included 41 trials involving 25,422 participants with an average age of 83 years, approximately 75% of who were women. Many of the participants had cognitive problems. Researchers found that supplementation with vitamin D reduce the rate of falls, but not the risk of falling. Pharmacist review of medications appeared to reduce falls, as well.Interestingly, the researchers found the supervised exercise interventions targeted at reducing falls were inconsistent in their ability to actually lower the number of falls in nursing homes, but did result in a significant reduction in the risk of falls among hospitalized patients.

Falls by older people in hospitals nursing homes may cause injury, loss of independence, and sometimes death due to severe injury. Identifying effective interventions to reduce the risk of falls will likely have significant health benefits. It seems that vitamin D supplementation may reduce falls, but the reason for this is not yet certain.



Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 1. Art No.: CD005465.


Created on: 02/01/2010
Reviewed on: 02/02/2010

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Anonymous wrote 1 year 47 weeks ago

There is no doubt vitamin D is vital to good health, both physical and mental. Lack of vitamin D can lead to seasonal affective disorder and other problems. Here is another great article detailing the importance of vitamin D.