Many patients with osteoporosis not screened for vitamin D levels before treatment – Healio

AUSTIN, Texas — Three-quarters of men and women veterans seen at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center assigned osteoporosis medications were not screened for vitamin D levels in the 12 months before therapy assignment.

Researchers suggest that these practices should be improved at the center.

Ankur Gupta, MD, FACE, assistant professor of internal medicine at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and associate program director of the internal medicine residency at the VA Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, presented data on 253 veterans prescribed various osteoporosis medications from January 2015 to January 2016 at the Dayton VA Medical Center and its outpatient clinics. Researchers sought to determine whether vitamin D levels were checked within 12 months before initiation or at the time of osteoporosis treatment initiation. Therapies prescribed included alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate, calcitonin or raloxifene.

The mean age of the participants at initiation of therapy was 65 years, and 77.1% were men. The most common indication for therapy was osteoporosis (68.8%), followed by osteopenia (24.5%) and osteoporosis prevention (6.3%). Most participants were initially prescribed alendronate (94.5%), followed by risedronate (3.2%), calcitonin (1.6%), raloxifene (0.4%) and ibandronate (0.4%).

Vitamin D levels were checked in the 12 months preceding or at the time of treatment initiation in 24.1% of participants; 42.6% had vitamin D levels greater than 30 ng/mL and 29.5% had vitamin D levels greater than 33 ng/mL.

“We found that only 24.1% of veterans had their vitamin D level checked before or at the time of osteoporosis treatment,” the researchers wrote. “Optimum vitamin D is essential in maintaining favorable bisphosphonate response. Low 25-[hydroxyvitamin] D level is a modifiable risk factor that can be corrected using inexpensive and safe vitamin D supplementation.” – by Amber Cox


Bennett S, et al. Abstract #517. Presented at: AACE Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress; May 3-7, 2017; Austin, Texas.

Endocrine Today was unable to confirm any relevant financial disclosures.



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