Screening for vitamin d deficiency: A systematic review for the U.S. Preventive services task force

Erin S. LeBlanc, Bernadette Zakher, Monica Daeges, Miranda Pappas, Roger Chou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Background: Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with adverse health outcomes. Purpose: To systematically review benefits and harms of vitamin D screening in asymptomatic adults. Data Sources: Ovid MEDLINE (through the third week of August 2014), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Study Selection: Randomized trials of screening for and treatment of vitamin D deficiency and case-control studies nested within the Women's Health Initiative. Data Extraction: One investigator abstracted data, a second reviewed data for accuracy, and 2 investigators independently assessed study quality using predefined criteria. Data Synthesis: No study examined the effects of vitamin D screening versus no screening on clinical outcomes. Vitamin D treatment was associated with decreased mortality versus placebo or no treatment (11 studies; risk ratio [RR], 0.83 [95% CI, 0.70 to 0.99]), although benefits were no longer seen after trials of institutionalized persons were excluded (8 studies; RR, 0.93 [CI, 0.73 to 1.18]). Vitamin D treatment was associated with possible decreased risk for having at least 1 fall (5 studies; RR, 0.84 [CI, 0.69 to 1.02]) and falls per person (5 studies; incidence rate ratio, 0.66 [CI, 0.50 to 0.88]) but not fractures (5 studies; RR, 0.98 [CI, 0.82 to 1.16]). Vitamin D treatment was not associated with a statistically significant increased risk for serious adverse events (RR, 1.17 [CI, 0.74 to 1.84]). Limitation: Variability across studies in 25-hydroxyvitamin D assays and baseline levels, treatment doses, use of calcium, and duration of follow-up. Conclusion: Treatment of vitamin D deficiency in asymptomatic persons might reduce mortality risk in institutionalized elderly persons and risk for falls but not fractures. Primary Funding Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-122
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 20 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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