Combined calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation in elderly women: confirmation of reversal of secondary hyperparathyroidism and hip fracture risk: the Decalyos II study

Osteoporos Int. 2002 Mar;13(3):257-64. doi: 10.1007/s001980200023.


Vitamin D insufficiency and low calcium intake contribute to increase parathyroid function and bone fragility in elderly people. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can reverse secondary hyperparathyroidism thus preventing hip fractures, as proved by Decalyos I. Decalyos II is a 2-year, multicenter, randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled confirmatory study. The intention-to-treat population consisted of 583 ambulatory institutionalized women (mean age 85.2 years, SD = 7.1) randomized to the calcium-vitamin D3 fixed combination group (n = 199); the calcium plus vitamin D3 separate combination group (n = 190) and the placebo group (n = 194). Fixed and separate combination groups received the same daily amount of calcium (1200 mg) and vitamin D3 (800 IU), which had similar pharmacodynamic effects. Both types of calcium-vitamin D3 regimens increased serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and decreased serum intact parathyroid hormone to a similar extent, with levels returning within the normal range after 6 months. In a subgroup of 114 patients, femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) decreased in the placebo group (mean = -2.36% per year, SD = 4.92), while remaining unchanged in women treated with calcium-vitamin D3 (mean = 0.29% per year, SD = 8.63). The difference between the two groups was 2.65% (95% CI = -0.44, 5.75%) with a trend in favor of the active treatment group. No significant difference between groups was found for changes in distal radius BMD and quantitative ultrasonic parameters at the os calcis. The relative risk (RR) of HF in the placebo group compared with the active treatment group was 1.69 (95% CI = 0.96, 3.0), which is similar to that found in Decalyos I (RR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.0, 2.8). Thus, these data are in agreement with those of Decalyos I and indicate that calcium and vitamin D3 in combination reverse senile secondary hyperparathyroidism and reduce both hip bone loss and the risk of hip fracture in elderly institutionalized women.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Calcium / therapeutic use*
  • Cholecalciferol / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Femur Neck / physiopathology
  • Hip Fractures / physiopathology
  • Hip Fractures / prevention & control*
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary / physiopathology
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary / prevention & control*
  • Institutionalization
  • Middle Aged
  • Radius / diagnostic imaging
  • Risk
  • Ultrasonography


  • Cholecalciferol
  • Calcium