Underlying vitamin D deficiency in post-menopausal women is associated with increased risk of hip fracture, according to investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. In a group of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fracture, 50 percent were found to have a previously undetected vitamin D deficiency. In the control group, women who had not suffered a hip fracture but who were hospitalized for an elective hip replacement, only a very small percentage had vitamin D deficiency, although one-fourth of those women also had osteoporosis.
These findings were reported in the April 28, 1999, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.** The study, conducted by Meryl S. LeBoff, M.D.; Lynn Kohlmeier, M.D.; Shelley Hurwitz, Ph.D.; Jennifer Franklin, BA; John Wright, M.D.; and Julie Glowacki, Ph.D.; of the Endocrine Hypertension Division, Department of Internal Medicine, and Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), components of the National Institutes of Health.
These investigators studied women admitted to either Brigham and Women's Hospital or the New England Baptist Hospital, both in Boston, between January 1995 and June 1998. A group of 98 postmenopausal women who normally reside in their own homes were chosen for the study. Women with bone deterioration from other causes were excluded from the study.
There were 30 women with hip fractures caused by osteoporosis and 68 hospitalized for elective joint replacement. Of these 68, 17 women also had osteoporosis as determined by the World Health Organization bone density criteria.
All the participants answered questions regarding their lifestyle, reproductive
history, calcium in their diet, and physical activity. Bone mineral density of
the spine, hip, and total body were measured by dual X-ray abso
NIH/National Institute on Aging