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UK would save as least 636 million dollars annually by giving 800 IU vitamin D free to all seniors – June 2014

Note: 2 publications on this page by the same authors:
#1 is behind a paywall,
#2 is free

VitaminDWiki: Cost of Vitamin D capsules

10,000 IU capsules 5 cents each on Amazon (1 bottle would last 7 years)
Only need take one capsule per week (5cents) = 1430 IU (>800 IU)
Put 4 capsules in jar at beginning of the month, and take one each SUNday
Take all of remaining capsules at the end of the month.
$3 for vitamin D for entire year

The short-term impact of vitamin D-based hip fracture prevention in older adults in the United Kingdom (pub #1)

J Endocrinol Invest. 2014 Jun 24. [Epub ahead of print]
Poole CD1, Smith JC, Davies JS. daviesjs at cf.ac.uk
Primary Care and Public Health, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.

PURPOSE: Vitamin D is a relatively inexpensive drug yet an important hormone in terms of calcium and bone homeostasis. Treatment with vitamin D is associated with reduced fracture risk particularly in an elderly population. Therefore, we assessed the budgetary impact of routine prescription of 800 IU daily colecalciferol on hip fracture among older adults in the United Kingdom.

METHODS: Using meta-analysis findings for treatment effect and UK-estimates of incidence, we performed a health economic evaluation of treating the UK population aged 65 and over with 800 IU of vitamin D daily, assessing the impact upon hip fracture costs using incremental attributable costs and excess mortality for a range of age- gender-based treatment strategies.

RESULTS: Using only a 1-year horizon, considering only reduction in hip fracture, prescribing colecalciferol 800 IU daily to all adults aged 65 and over, could reduce the number of incident hip fractures from 65,400 to 45,700, saving almost 1,700 associated deaths, whilst saving the UK taxpayer £22 million.

CONCLUSIONS: As the UK government seeks to reduce public expenditure in all sectors, investment in prescribed prophylactic colecalciferol 800 IU therapy for adults aged 65 and over is likely to yield cost savings through reduction hip fracture alone in the first year.

PMID: 24957166

Same authors, pub #2 - Sept 2015

Cost-effectiveness and budget impact of Empirical vitamin D therapy on unintentional falls in older adults in the UK

 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

Age Pounds
$ Saved
60+420 M$636 M
75+2,056 M$3,116 M

Thus saving $3 Billion if just give 800 IU to those who fall a lot (> age 75)

Comments on publication #1

Would save much more money if

  1. Used higher dose of vitamin D - 800 IU is barely enough to make a difference
  2. Consider benefits to other health problems of seniors: example vertebral fracture
  3. Give an even higher dose to those seniors who are especially at high risk of being vitamin D deficient
    shut-in, dark skin, overweight, avoid the sun due to fear of skin cancer, etc.
  4. Include cofactors for strong bones: Magnesium for example (see below)

Suspect that the study assumed 100% compliance - vs typical compliance is only about 30%

Appears that the study did not include education nor distribution costs for the vitamin D (see Table 1)

Publisher wants $40 for the PDF

See also VitaminDWiki

Meta-analysis of Falls and Fracture in VitaminDWiki

Pages listed in BOTH Falls/Fracture and Cost Savings

References - pub #1

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Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
5994 800 T6.jpg admin 29 Sep, 2015 20:08 38.08 Kb 239
5993 800 T5.jpg admin 29 Sep, 2015 19:55 34.87 Kb 235
5991 800 T2.jpg admin 29 Sep, 2015 19:51 57.03 Kb 238
5989 800 IU falls.pdf PDF 2015 admin 29 Sep, 2015 18:38 884.32 Kb 265
4085 Hip T1.jpg admin 28 Jun, 2014 12:05 47.08 Kb 546
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