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What Role Does Vitamin D Play in Reducing Respiratory Infections in Older Adults?

JAN 09, 2017 | KRISTI ROSA
In the follow-up period (12 months), the researchers kept track of the number of ARIs (common colds, middle ear infections, influenza, pneumonia, among others) in each individual that called for medical attention. The researchers also kept track of the number of “falls, fractures, kidney stones, hospitalizations, and deaths” that occurred during the period of study.
Upon conclusion of the study, the researchers found that compared to those in the standard-dose group, those individuals who were a part of the high-dose group experienced 40% less ARIs in the follow-up period. However, those in the high-dose group were also noted to have experienced an increased number of falls than their standard-dose counterparts. In an attempt to provide explanation for the increased number of falls, the study authors wrote, “The mechanism of this finding requires further investigation including exploration of the hypothesis that high-dose vitamin D leads to greater mobility, resulting in greater exposure to falls.”
According to the researchers, future studies are needed in order to ascertain if daily doses of vitamin D, rather than monthly doses, may better assist in ARI prevention among older individuals living in LTC facilities, as well as the correlation between vitamin D dosing and falls.
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