, Volume 37, Issue 9, pp 811-817
Date: 24 Jun 2014

The short-term impact of vitamin D-based hip fracture prevention in older adults in the United Kingdom

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Abstract

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.