Hypovitaminosis D in Internal Medicine Inpatients
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Some studies have suggested that hypovitaminosis D may be a consequence of protein-calorie malnutrition. This study assessed both the relationship between vitamin D status, malnutrition, calcium and phosphorus metabolism indices and the importance attached by internists to these alterations. There were 239 patients admitted to an internal medicine division who underwent examinations to assess nutritional state, liver and renal function, and bone metabolism. At the end of the study, the clinical data included in the discharge letter, the treatment prescribed, and the diagnosis assigned to patients on their hospital discharge form were collected. Hypovitaminosis D was found in 72% and hypoalbuminemia in 34.3% of patients. Subjects with hypovitaminosis were generally older and had lower albumin levels than those with mild or no hypovitaminosis. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D was inversely related with parathyroid hormone and directly related with albumin. Alterations of calcium and phosphorus metabolism were present in 55.6% and recorded by the division’s physicians for only 13.53% of patients, of whom 72.37% were not specifically treated. There is a direct correlation between 25-hydroxyvitamin D and albumin levels. The high incidence and the metabolic consequence of hypovitaminosis D and of protein-calorie malnutrition is significantly underestimated and undertreated by physicians.
KeywordsAlbumin Inpatient Malnutrition Parathyroid hormone Vitamin D