Vitamin D deficiency, from moderate to severe, is extremely common in elderly men

December 05, 2007

Many studies report severe Vitamin D deficiency in elderly women and its involvement in various health problems but not enough are known about levels in elderly men. In this study 291 men aged 65 or older living either at home or in institutions for the elderly had their blood levels of active Vitamin D compared with their health; these men were not taking Vitamin D supplements at the time of enrollment into the study. An additional 45 men initially enrolled in the study were excluded because they were already taking Vitamin D supplements. Among the 117 institutionalized men 79% were severely deficient in Vitamin D. Among the 174 men who continued to live at home 57% were severely deficient. The level of Vitamin D was significantly lower in the older, less mobile, institutionalized men. Almost all of the other men had either mild or moderate Vitamin D deficiency. Only two men, both living at home, had normal Vitamin D levels. Severe deficiency was less than 12 ng/ml, mild to moderate deficiency was 12-32 ng/ml, and normal levels of active Vitamin D were considered to be 32 ng/ml or greater in the blood. The study is published in the November 21st, 2007 issue of the French journal La Presse Medicale.