COPENHAGEN, DENMARK — An individual patient data analysis indicates that vitamin D given alone may not be effective in preventing fractures, but calcium and vitamin D given together may reduce hip fractures and total fractures, and probably vertebral fractures. Results of the DiPART (vitamin D individual Patient Analysis of Randomized Trials) Group involved researchers from Copenhagen University Hospital and appeared on-line Jan. 12 in the British Medical Journal.

Researchers sourced data from seven randomized trials of vitamin D with calcium or vitamin D alone, which yielded a total of 68,517 participants. They ranged in age from 47 to 107 years and had a mean age of 69.9 years. In the results, no interaction was found between fracture history and treatment response, nor was there any interaction with age, sex or hormone replacement therapy.

An editorial in the British Medical Journal written by Opinder Sahota, a professor or orthogeriatric medicine at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, United Kingdom, touched on the study.

“These findings are important because this is one of the few individual patient data analyses to show that vitamin D alone, irrespective of dose, does not reduce the risk of fracture,” Dr. Sahota wrote. “In contrast, it found that combined calcium and vitamin D reduced the overall risk of fracture, but that only low dose vitamin D with calcium reduced the risk of hip fracture.”