Objective: The hypothesis was that the calcium and vitamin D supplementation prevents falls at the population level.
Study design: The OSTPRE-FPS was a randomized population-based open-trial with 3-year follow-up. The supplementation group (n=1566) received daily cholecalciferol 800IU+calcium carbonate 1000mg, while the control group (n=1573) received no supplementation or placebo. A randomly selected subsample of 593 subjects underwent a detailed measurement program including serum 25(OH)D measurements.
Main outcome measure: The occurrence of falls was the primary outcome of the study. The participants in the subsample were telephoned at 4 months intervals and the rest of the trial population was interviewed by phone once a year.
Results: In the entire trial population (ETP), there were 812 women with 1832 falls in the intervention group and 833 women with 1944 falls in the control group (risk ratio was 0.98, 95% CI 0.92-1.05, P=0.160). The supplementation was not associated with single or multiple falls in the ETP. However, in the subsample, multiple fall incidence decreased by 30% (odds ratio (OR) 0.70, 95% CI 0.50-0.97, P=0.034) in the supplementation group. Further, the supplementation decreased the incidence of multiple falls requiring medical attention (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.53-0.97, P=0.031) in the ETP. The mean compliance in the entire trial population was 78% and in the subsample 79%.
Discussion: Overall, the primary analysis showed no association between calcium and vitamin D supplementation and risk of falls. However, the results of a post hoc analysis suggested that there was a decreased risk of multiple falls requiring medical attention: this finding requires confirmation.
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