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Calcium and vitamin D deficiency and therapy 

Calcium and vitamin D deficiency and therapy
Calcium and vitamin D deficiency and therapy

Gordon A. Campbell

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date: 23 January 2021

Calcium intake of <400 mg/day is likely to be deleterious to skeletal growth and normal skeletal integrity. In adults, low calcium intake, associated vitamin D deficiency, and secondary hyperparathyroidism contribute further to poor skeletal health.

Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially in the frail housebound elderly population, but also in younger adults with chronic diseases.

Vitamin D deficiency is an important and easily correctable factor in falls and fracture prevention as well as in the rehabilitation of patients with long-term conditions.

At least 1 g of calcium and 800 IU of colecalciferol each day should be given to the housebound or mobile institutionalized elderly to reduce the risk of falls and fractures. 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of >75 nmol/L (30 µg/L) may be required for fracture prevention, necessitating the initial use of high-dose vitamin D supplementation.

Provision of patient education and the availability of different calcium and vitamin D preparations on formularies are essential to facilitate adherence to therapy, particularly in the elderly.

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