Vitamin D, Calcium Supplements Don't Cut Fracture Risk For Elderly

Vitamin D and calcium supplements appear to have no effect in preventing elderly people from getting fractures, according to the results of two major studies released Wednesday night. The findings are particularly important because elderly people, especially those with osteoporosis, have a high risk of bone fractures, and earlier research has shown that these supplements cut that risk. The latest news comes out of separate, randomized controlled trials done in the United Kingdom involving more than 8,500 people over the age of 70. In one study of 5,292 people, all of whom had had one fracture already, researchers led by University of Aberdeen professor Adrian Grant found that vitamin D and calcium didn't help prevent a second fracture. "For people who have already had a fracture, calcium and vitamin D separately or together don't seem to be enough to prevent them from having a further fracture," said study co-author Dr. Frazer Anderson, a senior lecturer in geriatric medicine at the University of Southhampton. Those findings appear in the April 27 online issue of The Lancet.

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