Pharmacy Times

Vitamin D Screening Recommended in At-Risk Populations

Author: Kate H. Gamble, Senior Editor

The Endocrine Society released a new clinical practice guideline focusing on preventing and treating vitamin D deficiency in at-risk patient populations.
Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent throughout the world and results in abnormalities of calcium, phosphorus and bone metabolism which can lead to muscle weakness, osteomalacia, osteopenia and osteoporosis. In children, vitamin D deficiency can result in skeletal deformities known as rickets.

The new guideline, which is published in the July issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, recommendations the following: “Vitamin D deficiency is very common in all age groups and it is important that physicians and health care providers have the best evidence-based recommendations for evaluating, treating and preventing vitamin D deficiency in patients at highest risk,” said Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, of the Boston University School of Medicine and chair of the task force that authored the guideline, in a statement. “The Society’s new Clinical Practice Guideline was developed by experts in the field who carefully reviewed the current literature and features the latest and most comprehensive recommendations available on the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency.”

The guideline also includes the following recommendations for dietary intake of vitamin D in patients at risk for vitamin D deficiency: “At the present time, there is not sufficient evidence to recommend screening individuals who are not at risk for deficiency or to prescribe vitamin D to attain the non-calcemic benefit for cardiovascular protection,” said Holick.

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