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Vitamin D blood levels, unnecessary prescriptions, and retest in naïve patients

  • Giulio FormosoEmail author
  • Massimiliano Marino
  • Pietro Ragni
  • Roberto Giuseppe Grilli
  • Emilio Maestri
Letter to the Editor

Several studies in the last decade suggested a worldwide problem of vitamin D deficiency [1]. Scientific societies generally support a blood concentration of 30 ng/ml as threshold for “insufficiency,” [2] despite 2011 recommendations by the Institute of Medicine stating that concentrations > 20 ng/ml provide no benefits on calcium absorption [3]. Regarding clinical benefits, available evidence shows that vitamin D supplementation benefits specific subgroups of patients who are likely to be deficient, although most of them would not need testing (e.g., institutionalized people, patients with chronic kidney disease, pregnant women) [1, 3]. However, supplementation does not prevent cancer or cardiovascular disease [4, 5] or osteoporotic fractures in community-dwelling populations [6].

Nonetheless, widespread supplementation has gained popularity. In Italy, 10.5 defined daily doses (DDD) of vitamin D per 1000 inhabitants per day have been prescribed in 2017, with a 26% increase compared to...

Notes

Authors’ contributions

Conceived of or designed study: G. Formoso, M. Marino, P. Ragni, R. Grilli, E. Maestri

Performed research: G. Formoso, M. Marino

Analyzed data: M. Marino, G. Formoso

Wrote the paper: G. Formoso

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Governance UnitLocal Health Authority - IRCCS of Reggio EmiliaReggio EmiliaItaly
  2. 2.PiacenzaItaly

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