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Commentary on: Ginde AA, Blatchford P, Breese K, et al. High-dose monthly vitamin D for prevention of acute respiratory infection in older long-term care residents: a randomized clinical trial. J Am Geriatr Soc 2017;65:496–503.
Implications for practice and research
Vitamin D deficiency is rampant in institutionalised elderly individuals. Routine high-dose vitamin D3 appears to prevent acute respiratory infections in this population. This clear benefit must be weighed against a higher risk of falls with monthly vitamin D3 doses.
Future research should establish optimised vitamin D supplementation protocols and find the best benefit–risk strategy.
Vitamin D deficiency is common in elderly people, in those with sunlight deprivation, malnutrition and when comorbidities are present. One or all of these factors are often found in nursing home residents, making them one of the most populous risk groups for vitamin D deficiency. The beneficial effect of vitamin D for the prevention of musculoskeletal outcomes is relatively undebated, but the pleiotropic effects of vitamin D suggest further …
Competing interests KA has received speaker fees from Fresenius Kabi, Siemens and Sinapharm.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.