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USPSTF Draft Recommendation: Routine Screening for Vitamin D Deficiency — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 24, 2014

USPSTF Draft Recommendation: Routine Screening for Vitamin D Deficiency

By Kristin J. Kelley

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and André Sofair, MD, MPH

Evidence is insufficient to weigh the benefits and harms of screening healthy, nonpregnant adults for vitamin D deficiency in primary care settings, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force stated on Monday in a draft recommendation.

The task force examined randomized, controlled trials and systematic reviews to evaluate the benefits and harms of vitamin D screening and early treatment (none of the trials directly assessed either). No association was found between treatment with oral vitamin D (with or without calcium) and decreased fracture risk, and the effects of treatment on the risk for falls were inconsistent. Three studies found a mortality risk reduction with supplementation, but only in older, institutionalized patients. The reporting of adverse events with vitamin D treatment was generally "suboptimal."

The USPSTF notes there is uncertainty about what levels of vitamin D would be best to improve health. Moreover, at this time, no national primary care organization recommends routine screening for vitamin D deficiency.

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