A recent study looking into vitamin D status among residents in an elderly care rehabilitation facility in Trier, Germany found that a majority of the patients were severely vitamin D deficient.
Research published in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International measured vitamin D levels of 1578 elderly persons admitted to the facility, patients ages ranged from 46 to 105, 72% of which were women.
Stefan Schilling, the author of the study found that 89% of the patients had vitamin D levels below no ng/mL, and 67% had a severe deficiency (below 10 ng/mL). Only 4% of patients had sufficient vitamin D levels in the range of 30-60 ng/mL.
“In view of how common vitamin D deficiency is in the elderly, the question arises of whether or not this has any clinical significance. The effects of vitamin D on bones and muscles are indisputable, and problems such as muscle weakness and pain in the musculoskeletal system, which are often seen as age-related, may also be partly caused by the frequent vitamin D deficiency in old age.”
Dr Schilling calls for further study of the subject, and because of the alarmingly high rate of deficiency among the elderly population, they suggest supplementation or moderate sun exposure to increase vitamin D levels to a sufficient amount.