Women with low levels of vitamin D have an increased risk of hip fractures, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh.
This study analyzed data from 400 women who had suffered a hip fracture within the last seven years. Blood levels of vitamin D were measured and compared against women would didn't have hip fractures. The results showed that women with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D had a 77 percent greater risk of hip fracture.
Vitamin D aids in the absorption and utilization of calcium in the bones. It's thought that a deficiency in vitamin D may accelerate bone loss, thereby increasing the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture.
Osteoporosis, a disease of fragile, brittle bones, is a common cause of hip fractures in women and affects an estimated 1.4 million Canadians. Hip fractures have a dramatic effect on overall health and quality of life. Almost 50 percent of elderly women who fracture their hips lose their ability to live independently. Twenty percent of hip fracture cases lead to death.
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