HealthDay News — There is insufficient evidence to weight the benefits and harms of vitamin D deficiency screening in asymptomatic adults, according to a final recommendation statement by United State Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“There is no consensus on optimal 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25-(OH)D] concentrations. Although experts generally agree that levels lower than 50 nmol/L (20 ng/mL) are associated with bone health disagreement exists about whether optimal 25-(OH)D levels are higher than this threshold,” explained Erin S. LeBlanc, MD, MPH, of Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, Ore., and colleagues.

To examine the harms and benefits of screening for vitamin D deficiency in asymptomatic adults, the investigators conducted a systematic review of available evidence.

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There were no studies that examined the impact of vitamin D screenings versus no screening on clinical outcomes. Compared with placebo or no treatment, vitamin D treatment was associated with decreased mortality (11 studies; risk ratio [RR], 0.83; 95% CI: 0.70 to 0.99), although after trials of institutionalized patients were excluded the benefits were no longer observed (eight studies; RR, 0.93; 95% CI: 0.73-1.18). There was no significantly increased risk for serious adverse events with vitamin D treatment.

On the basis of these findings, the USPSTF concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to weigh the balance of benefits and harms of screening.


  1. LeBlanc ES et al. Ann Intern Med. 2014; doi: 10.7326/M14-1659