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44 percent of postmenopausal women with distal radius fracture have low levels of vitamin D

Preventative efforts may reduce the number of hip fractures

Wrist fractures, also called distal radius fractures (DRF), are among the most common osteoporosis-related fractures occurring on average 15 years earlier than hip fractures. As vitamin D deficiency has recently been linked with muscle weakness, increased fall risks, and bone fractures, investigators sought to determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among post menopausal women with DRF.

The study, "Hypovitaminosis D in Postmenopausal Women with a Distal Radius Fracture," was presented today at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

Medical records of 104 post menopausal women treated for a DRF, and 107 age-matched control patients with soft tissue disease, were reviewed. Mean vitamin D levels were "significantly" lower in the DRF group of patients. Specifically, 26 percent of the DRF patients were vitamin D insufficient (having vitamin D serum levels between 20 and 32 ng/ml), and 18 percent, deficient (serum levels below 20 ng/ml), compared to 11 percent and 2 percent of patients being vitamin D insufficient and deficient, respectively, in the control group.

Further research may determine whether vitamin D supplementation (or, maintaining adequate vitamin D levels) can help prevent distal radius fractures, or prevent future fractures in patients that experience their first distal radius fracture.

About the AAOS

With more than 37,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, ( or ( is the premier not-for-profit organization that provides education programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions the interests of patients and advances the highest quality of musculoskeletal health. Orthopaedic surgeons and the Academy are the authoritative sources of information for patients and the general public on musculoskeletal conditions, treatments and related issues. An advocate for improved care, the Academy is participating in the Bone and Joint Initiative (, the global initiative to raise awareness of musculoskeletal health, stimulate research and improve people's quality of life. The Academy's 2012 Annual Meeting is being held February 7 - 11, 2012 at the San Francisco Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Lauren Pearson Riley | EurekAlert!
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