Calcium, vitamin D supplementation

Calcium, vitamin D supplementation lacking in osteoporosis patients

March 27 2019. A study presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons revealed that the majority of men and women with osteoporosis are not supplementing their diets with calcium and vitamin D. Even more concerning is the fact that over half of osteoporosis patients with a history of hip fracture also failed to receive the bone-building supplements.

“In general, osteoporosis patients are largely undertreated and not adequately managed with prescription medication or nutrient supplementation,” observed researcher Evan D. Nigh of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “We hypothesized that patients with a history of hip fracture would have higher supplementation rates because they were actively seeing their primary care and orthopedic physicians for follow-up appointments, and they would be personally motivated to prevent future fractures, since they are now at a greater risk. However, the compliance rates among this subset of osteoporosis patients was surprisingly low.”

The study included 1,065 men and women with osteoporosis who were enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Two hundred four subjects had a history of hip fracture. It was found that 80.8% of the subjects were not receiving calcium and vitamin D. Among those who reported hip fractures, 58% did not receive the necessary nutrients. Non-Caucasian Mexican-Americans were least likely to receive treatment.

“This study has highlighted multiple opportunities to improve osteoporosis treatment and further efforts are warranted to identify specific strategies to address the observed racial disparity,” commented study coauthor Sheila Conway, MD, who is an Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the Miller School of Medicine.

“This paper should serve as a call-to-action to orthopedic surgeons to ensure that our osteoporotic hip fracture population receives adequate medical treatment to maximize their post-operative recovery,” added coauthor Spencer Summers, MD.

—D Dye



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