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Vitamin D supplementation program cuts down on health care costs in New Zealand

Posted on: August 8, 2013   by  Vitamin D Council

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Widespread vitamin D supplementation in aged care facilities has saved the New Zealand government over a half-million dollars the past two years, according to a new press release.

In 2010 the MidCentral District Health Board (DHB) began encouraging health professionals to prescribe vitamin D to residents in aged care facilities. Between March 2010 and June 2012, the percentage of aged care residents supplementing with vitamin D jumped from 15 to 74 percent.

The main goal was to reduce falls-related fractures, and so far, they’ve had great success.

“Comparisons from before and after the start of the project show a 32 per cent reduction in aged residential care residents going to the emergency department with falls-related fractures,” says Associate Minister of Health Jo Goodhew. “And a 41 per cent reduction in their hospital admissions due to these fractures.”

Their results corroborate with past research, which shows that vitamin D supplementation can reduce falls and falls-related fractures

Due to the reduced admissions to the hospital, the vitamin D project has saved MidCentral DHB more than $540,000 (about $430,000 USD). There are also likely further savings due to reduced need for clinical support, hospital pharmacy services and rehabilitation.

Says Mrs. Goodhew, “The benefits of preventing falls in older people cannot be overstated.  Preventing falls enables older people to maintain their independence and confidence.”

Source

Live News. Vitamin D project helps prevent falls and saves health costs. http://livenews.co.nz/2013/08/08/vitamin-d-project-helps-prevent-falls-and-saves-health-costs/

2 Responses to Vitamin D supplementation program cuts down on health care costs in New Zealand

  1. Rita and Misty

    As taken from the above article:

    “The main goal was to reduce falls-related fractures, and so far, they’ve had great success.

    ‘Comparisons from before and after the start of the project show a 32 per cent reduction in aged residential care residents going to the emergency department with falls-related fractures,” says Associate Minister of Health Jo Goodhew. “And a 41 per cent reduction in their hospital admissions due to these fractures.’ ”

    My thoughts:

    I wonder why studies cannot be devised to analyze more than one condition at a time?

    For example, this cohort most likely has high incidence of diabetes II, high blood pressure, cardio vascular disease, and dementia in addition to high fall-related fractures.

    It would have been interesting to see if vitamin d supplementation provided any change to these other conditions.

    Perhaps such a study would be overwhelming to do, and YES I do know that such collected data would NOT be of the same value as the gold standard RCT…. But yet, such info would have been very interesting…and perhaps it might have paved the way for a RCT.

    These are simply my musings….

    Rita

  2. Dan

    Did the researchers measure before and after 25(OH)D levels? Or was that too expensive to do?

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