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Vitamin D intake may be associated with fewer stress fractures in girls

Posted on: March 5, 2012   by  Vitamin D Council


A study published in Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine reports that vitamin D may be associated with a decreased risk of stress fractures for preadolescent and adolescent girls.

Kendrin R. Sonneville, Sc.D., R.D., of Children’s Hospital Boston, and colleagues conducted the study to identify whether calcium, vitamin D and dairy intake were associated with decreased risk of stress fractures among girls.

6,712 preadolescent and adolescent girls ages 9-15 were monitored for the seven-year follow up study. During those seven years, 3.9% of girls developed a stress fracture.

The authors found that dairy and calcium consumption was unrelated to stress fracture risk, while vitamin D was associated with a decreased risk of developing a stress fracture. These results were significant among adolescent girls who participate in 1 hour of high impact activity every day, the highest risk group for stress fractures.

“We observed a linear trend for lower stress fracture risk with increasing vitamin D intake such that those in the highest quintile had about 50% the risk of developing a stress fracture compared with those in the lowest quintile,” the authors wrote.

Surprisingly, the researchers found an increased risk of developing a stress fracture when calcium intake was high. The authors suggest this unexpected finding be examined further in future research.


Sonneville KR, et al. Vitamin D, Calcium, and Dairy Intakes and Stress Fractures Among Female Adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2012.

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