ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
CANCER
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
CAREGIVING
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
DIET, NUTRITION
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Ozone-Depleting Inhalers Being Phased Out
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
EYE CARE, VISION
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
FITNESS
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Can a Bad Boss Make You Sick?
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Cancer
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Ginkgo Won't Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke in Elderly
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Add your Article

Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk

MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Low levels of vitamin D can boost older women's risk for hip fracture by more than 70 percent, University of Pittsburgh researchers report.

The finding adds weight to the recommendation that people maintain adequate intake of vitamin D, which is primarily made by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight.

The fracture-vitamin D link "has been observed for 15 years," noted Dr. Michael F. Holick, director of the Vitamin D Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University. "The good news is it's consistent, the higher your vitamin D status, the lower the risk of your developing a hip fracture."

The new report appears in the Aug. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Hip fractures can be devastating for older individuals. In fact, 50 percent of older people who suffer a hip fracture will end up in a nursing home and 20 percent will die within the first year due to complications such as a pulmonary embolism resulting from the fracture, Holick said.

For this study, a research team led by Jane A. Cauley from the University of Pittsburgh collected data on 800 women aged 50 to 79. Researchers followed the women for up to nine years to determine their risk for hip fractures.

They found that the risk of hip fracture rose 33 percent with every 25 nanomoles per liter drop in vitamin D levels. Women with the lowest levels of vitamin D had a 71 percent increase risk for hip fractures compared with women with the highest levels of vitamin D, the researchers report.

"We conclude that low serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with an increased risk for hip fracture in community-dwelling women. The mechanism of association is unclear," the authors wrote.

Holick notes that vitamin D is essential for the body's absorption of calcium, a key component of bone health. "If you don't have adequate vitamin D, you cannot efficiently absorb calcium," he said. "Vitamin D also helps maintain bone health by keeping bone cells active."

According to the U.S. Institute of Medicine, people should get between 200 and 400 international units of vitamin D a day. The best way to get vitamin D, naturally, is by being out in the sun.

As little as 10 to 15 minutes of sun a day can give you all a vitamin D you need. Vitamin D is also available in small quantities in foods such as fish and milk.

Preventing hip fracture is another good reason to keep your vitamin D levels up, Holick said. "To get vitamin D levels to where they need to be to reduce the risk of hip fracture, you need to be taking at least 1,000 international units of vitamin D a day from a supplement," he advised.

Dr. John Jacob Cannell, executive director of the nonprofit Vitamin D Council, agreed that most people are not getting enough of the nutrient.

"Women need to know their vitamin D status," Cannell said. "They need to ask their doctor for the right test," known as the 25 hydroxy D test. "Women should strive to keep your vitamin D levels above 125 nanomoles per liter, year round. To do that, they are going to require supplements."

Cannell recommends that before they get a blood test for vitamin D, women take 2,000 international units of vitamin D a day for three months.

More information

For more about vitamin D, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.



SOURCES: John Jacob Cannell, M.D., executive director, Vitamin D Council, Atascadero, Calif.; Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D., director, Vitamin D Skin and Bone Research Laboratory, Boston University; Aug. 19, 2008, Annals of Internal Medicine

Last Updated: Aug. 19, 2008

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