The Success of Vitamin D Awareness in Geriatric Patients: A Step Closer but Not There Yet
Rita H. Khoury, MD ; B. P. Salmon, MS; Asha Gandhi, BS; Peter Gudaitis, BA; Dauna Gudaitis, BA.
(2014) Abstracts and Case Studies From the College of American Pathologists 2014 Annual Meeting (CAP ’14). Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine: September 2014, Vol. 139, No. 9, pp. e2-e183.
Context: Vitamin D is known for its role in bone metabolism, cancer, autoimmune disorders, and many other conditions. The American Geriatrics Society released a new consensus statement to help physicians ensure that their geriatric patients are getting enough vitamin D to prevent the risk of falls and their related injuries. Age, y Severe Deficiency, 10 ng/mL, % Deficiency, 20 ng/mL, % Insufficiency, 21–29 ng/mL, % Sufficient, .30 ng/mL, % ,50 8.1 34.0 19.0 47.0 51–60 8.5 39.5 26.0 34.6 61–70 10.2 39.5 29.3 31.1 71–80 6.6 36.1 31.2 32.7 81–90 4.5 29.0 30.2 40.8 .90 4.8 25.4 28.5 46.2
Design: A total of 13 241 specimens collected from residents in longterm care facilities in 2013 were tested for vitamin D by using Roche Modular E. The patients were separated by severe deficiency, deficiency, insufficiency, and sufficient, and by age group. The results were compared to data obtained from 5612 specimens in 2009. Statistical analysis was performed with Analyse-it.
Results: In 2013, 29.3% of the patients had deficiency, 31.9% had insufficiency, and 38.8% had sufficient vitamin D levels. Severe deficiency is more common in people younger than 70 years. There was an increase of 21.5% and 16.5% in the sufficient level of vitamin D in the ,50- and .90-year-old age groups, respectively, when compared to 2009; no improvement was found in the 51- to 80-yearold age group.
Conclusions: Most of the geriatric population has a vitamin D level below the normal level and almost one-third has insufficiency levels. The improvement in the vitamin D–sufficient population over the period tested may be due to increased awareness of the importance of vitamin D in long-term care residents. More work is needed to improve vitamin D levels across all ages, and to achieve the goal set by the American Geriatric Society to reach the recommended level in more than 92% of older adults.