Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2022 , Vol 25, Issue 2
Maria BONNICI1, Peter FERRY1
1Karin Grech Hospital, Pieta, Malta, Geriatric medicine department, Pieta, Malta DOI : 10.31086/tjgeri.2022.291 Vitamin D deficiency is reaching alarming levels worldwide and it is highly prevalent in older adults. The association of vitamin D deficiency and osteoporosis has been well studied but in the last decade numerous studies have been exploring the efficacy of treating vitamin D deficiency in order to prevent or treat other common conditions found in the older population. There is robust evidence that vitamin D supplementation together with calcium prevents fracture risk, but there is equivocal evidence with regards to falls reduction. There is no substantial evidence that it decreases frailty, sarcopenia, cognitive impairment, depression and the risk of cardiovascular or diabetes. Research is showing that vitamin D supplementation may prevent acute respiratory tract infections and COPD exacerbations and it might also decrease cancer mortality. Screening for vitamin D deficiency is recommended in all older adults with musculoskeletal diseases and in COPD patients hospitalised with an exacerbation. There is still controversial evidence for the optimal recommended supplementation dose, but most guidelines recommend around 800 IU of vitamin D daily as a maintenance dose for bone health. Despite the established benefits that vitamin D has on musculoskeletal health, it is still unclear if sufficient vitamin D and vitamin D supplementation will benefit the other common conditions. Therefore, future well-designed randomised controlled studies are still needed. Keywords : Vitamin D; older adults; osteoporosis; frailty; sarcopenia; COPD