The relationship of vitamin D deficiency to health care costs in veterans

Mil Med. 2008 Dec;173(12):1214-8. doi: 10.7205/milmed.173.12.1214.

Abstract

Vitamin D deficiency is often unrecognized and has been linked to many chronic diseases. Vitamin D supplementation has been shown to ameliorate these chronic diseases and may reduce the prevalence of some cancers. We analyzed the health care costs associated with vitamin D deficiency in Veterans in Northeast Tennessee. A retrospective electronic chart analysis of the relationship of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] status to health care costs, services, and utilization was done in 886 veterans. The overall costs were higher by 39% in the vitamin D-deficient group. Vitamin D deficiency was associated with increased service utilization in many areas including more frequent emergency room and clinic visits as well as increased inpatient stay and inpatient services. The serum level of vitamin D was also related to health care costs, although to a lesser extent. Vitamin D deficiency is closely linked to increased health care costs in veterans.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Expenditures
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, Veterans / economics
  • Hospitals, Veterans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tennessee / epidemiology
  • United States
  • Veterans*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / economics
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*