Higher 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 concentrations associated with lower fall rates in older community-dwelling women

K. A. Faulkner, J. A. Cauley, J. M. Zmuda, D. P. Landsittel, A. B. Newman, S. A. Studenski, M. S. Redfern, K. E. Ensrud, H. A. Fink, N. E. Lane, M. C. Nevitt

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95 Scopus citations


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships of vitamin D supplementation and serum concentrations of vitamin D metabolites and parathyroid hormone (PTH) with neuromuscular function and falls in older community-dwelling women. Methods: We examined these relationships using a 4-year prospective multi-center study among 9,526 community-dwelling women enrolled in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (median age: 70 years; interquartile range: 67-75) and a subset of 389 women (97%) out of 400 who were randomly selected from the entire cohort for serum measures. Measurements included: vitamin D supplementation, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3], serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH) 2D3], and serum intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH); grip and quadriceps strength, chair-stand time, walking speed, reaction time, and balance-walk time (including changes in grip strength, chair-stand time, walking speed and balance-walk time over approximately 3.7 years); and incident fall rates (number of falls/woman-years). Results: In 9,526 women, vitamin D supplementation was not associated with any measures of neuromuscular function, change in neuromuscular function, or fall rates (p>0.01 for all). In a subgroup of 389 women, there was a trend of higher 25(OH)D3 concentration with slightly weaker grip strength (p=0.007), and women in the fourth quartile of 1,25(OH)2D3 had a faster chair-stand time (p=0.017) than women in the first quartile; still, in general, concentrations of 25(OH)D3, 1,25(OH)2D3, and iPTH were not associated with either neuromuscular function or changes in neuromuscular function (p>0.05 for all). However, higher 1,25(OH) 2D3 concentration was associated with lower fall rates (p=0.039). Conclusions: Higher 1,25(OH)2D3 concentration is associated with a lower fall risk in older community-dwelling women, but vitamin D supplementation, and 25(OH)D3 and iPTH concentrations are not associated with either neuromuscular function or falls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1318-1328
Number of pages11
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Calcitropic hormones
  • Falls
  • Muscle strength
  • Neuromuscular function
  • Parathyroid hormone
  • Vitamin D


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