Background: Most of the elderly have vitamin D deficiency, which is defined as a serum level below 30 ng/mL.
Objectives: To identify the characteristics of patients over 65 receiving vitamin D supplements by their primary care physician. A descriptive and transverse study was performed on patients over 65 years old admitted to Care Following at the La Croix Rouge in Nantes from September 2012 to February 2013. The criteria for vitamin D supplementation, the type (vitamin D2 or D3, continuous prescription or not, route of administration) and starting date of vitamin D supplementation were identified. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) was measured at admission.
Results: Of 163 patients included, 44% received vitamin D supplements (n=71). The patient aged over 80 benefited more often from vitamin D supplementation (p=0.019), so did women (p=0.034), patients with fractures (p=0.05), patients with osteoporosis treatments (p<0.001) and those treated with long-term corticosteroids (p<0.001). Dark skinned patients received vitamin D supplementation less often than the others (p=0.046). The dosage of the vitamin D was normal for 28% of patients (n=46).
Conclusions: The prescription of vitamin D supplements to the elderly is still too scarce and should be encouraged, especially in non-bone indications.
Keywords: elderly; primary care physician; supplementation; vitamin D.