Clinicians should recommend vitamin D supplementation as well as exercise or physical therapy in community-dwelling adults aged 65 years or older who are at increased risk for falls, advised the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in a recommendation published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

However, in a separate draft recommendation statement that has yet to be finalized, the USPSTF expressed more hesitation about other uses of vitamin D supplementation. Specifically, the group found that currently, there is insufficient evidence to assess the balance of the benefits and harms of the following: combined vitamin D and calcium supplementation for the primary prevention of fractures in premenopausal women or men; and daily supplementation with more than 400 IU of vitamin D3 and 1,000 mg of calcium for the primary prevention of fractures in noninstitutionalized postmenopausal women.

In addition, the USPSTF draft statement recommends against daily supplementation with up to 400 IU of vitamin D3 and 1,000 mg of calcium carbonate for the primary prevention of fractures in noninstitutionalized postmenopausal women.

Older adults may need more vitamin D to prevent mobility difficulties, according to data from 2,099 community-dwelling men and women aged 70 to 79 years reported online ahead of print in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. Over the course of six years, Denise K. Houston, PhD, and colleagues observed an estimated 30% increased risk of mobility limitations for the participants with low levels of vitamin D — that is, levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) lower than 75 nmol/L — and almost a twofold higher risk of mobility disability for those individuals.