Author(s): McMurtry CT, Young SE, Downs RW, Adler RA
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To compare the vitamin D metabolite and nutritional status of institutionalized elderly males with a noninstitutionalized control group. DESIGN: Case-control study. SETTING: Veterans Administration Medical Center Nursing Home (NH) in Richmond, Virginia. PATIENTS: Fifty-seven consecutive nursing home subjects were screened. After excluding blacks, those receiving anticonvulsants, glucocorticoids, or vitamin supplements, and those with liver or renal failure (creatinine greater than 1.5 mg/dL), 35 subjects were enrolled, and 22 completed the study. The noninstitutionalized control group (n = 18) consisted of consecutive volunteers, meeting the above criteria, from either a senior citizen group or a geriatric clinic. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D level in the NH residents was significantly lower than in community dwellers (17.4 +/- 5.2 ng/mL vs 31.2 pg/mL +/- 8.0 ng/mL, P less than 0.0001). No significant difference was demonstrated in 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels (36.5 pg/mL +/- 10.5 in NH residents vs 42.0 pg/mL +/- 11.1 in controls). In the NH group PTH levels were inversely correlated with 25 OHD levels (P less than 0.008) and positively correlated with length of stay in the NH (P less than 0.016). There was no significant seasonal variation in vitamin D metabolite levels in the NH group. In the NH patients, the mean dietary intake of vitamin D was 232 +/- 378 mg/day and of calories was 1811 +/- 447 kcal/day. CONCLUSION: Despite apparently adequate calories, calcium, and vitamin D intake, hypovitaminosis D with compensatory PTH elevations occurs, regardless of season, in the nursing home population.
This article was published in J Am Geriatr Soc
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research