Effect of four monthly oral vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplementation on fractures and mortality in men and women living in the community: randomised double blind controlled trial.


Trivedi DP, Doll R, Khaw KT.






OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of four monthly vitamin D supplementation on the rate of fractures in men and women aged 65 years and over living in the community. DESIGN: Randomised double blind controlled trial of 100 000 IU oral vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplementation or matching placebo every four months over five years. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: 2686 people (2037 men and 649 women) aged 65-85 years living in the general community, recruited from the British doctors register and a general practice register in Suffolk. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Fracture incidence and total mortality by cause. RESULTS: After five years 268 men and women had incident fractures, of whom 147 had fractures in common osteoporotic sites (hip, wrist or forearm, or vertebrae). Relative risks in the vitamin D group compared with the placebo group were 0.78 (95% confidence interval 0.61 to 0.99, P=0.04) for any first fracture and 0.67 (0.48 to 0.93, P=0.02) for first hip, wrist or forearm, or vertebral fracture. 471 participants died. The relative risk for total mortality in the vitamin D group compared with the placebo group was 0.88 (0.74 to 1.06, P=0.18). Findings were consistent in men and women and in doctors and the general practice population. CONCLUSION: Four monthly supplementation with 100 000 IU oral vitamin D may prevent fractures without adverse effects in men and women living in the general community.