What Is the Role of Vitamin D Supplementation in Acute Fracture Patients? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Prevalence of Hypovitaminosis D and Supplementation Efficacy

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The objectives of this systematic review and meta-analyses are (1) to estimate the prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in fracture patients and (2) to summarize the available evidence on the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in fracture patients.

Data Sources:

A comprehensive search of the MEDLINE, Embase, PubMed, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases was conducted. Conference abstracts from relevant meetings were also searched.

Study Selection:

We included studies that investigate vitamin D insufficiency or examine the effect of vitamin D supplementation on 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25(OH)D) serum levels in fracture patients.

Data Extraction:

Two authors independently extracted data using a predesigned form.

Data Synthesis:

We performed a pooled analysis to determine the prevalence of postfracture hypovitaminosis D and mean postfracture 25(OH)D levels. We present detailed summaries of each of the studies evaluating the impact of vitamin D supplementation.


The weighted pooled prevalence of hypovitaminosis D was 70.0% (95% confidence interval: 63.7%–76.0%, I2 = 97.7). The mean postfracture serum 25(OH)D was 19.5 ng/mL. The studies that evaluated the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation suggest that vitamin D supplementation safely increases serum 25(OH)D levels. Only 1 meeting abstract showed a trend toward reduced risk of nonunion after a single large loading dose of vitamin D.


This review found a high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in fracture patients and that vitamin D supplementation at a range of doses safely increases 25(OH)D serum levels. To date, only 1 pilot study published as a meeting abstract has demonstrated a trend toward improved fracture healing with vitamin D supplementation.

Level of Evidence:

Prognostic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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