In this study, researchers from England recruited 2,686 people (2,037 men and 649 women) aged 65 to 85 years, living in the community.
The team conducted their study by post.
They sent the study participants 1 capsule, containing either 100,000 IU vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) or placebo, every 4 months for 5 years. Participants received a total of 15 doses during the study period.
The researchers asked participants to take the capsule immediately, and to complete and return a checklist of events (fracture or major illness).
|Participants in the vitamin D group had a 22% lower rate for first fracture at any site.|
|British Medical Journal|
The research team found that participants in the vitamin D group had a 22% lower rate for first fracture at any site.
In addition, the vitamin D group had a 33% lower rate for a fracture occurring in common osteoporotic sites (hip, wrist or forearm, or vertebrae).
Prof. Kay Tee Khaw's team concluded, "Many interventions effective in high risk groups are not feasible in the general population owing to poor compliance or side effects or are not cost effective".
"In contrast, the cost of four monthly vitamin D capsules is less than £1 annually."