Older people who had suffered a hip fracture were randomly assigned to receive extended or standard physical therapy. They were also given either high-dose or medium-dose vitamin D supplementation. The high dose was 2,000 International Units while the medium dose was 800 IU daily.
The 173 subjects were followed for a year to see if they fell or had to be re-admitted to the hospital. Extended physical therapy reduced the likelihood of falls, but not of hospitalization. The higher-dose vitamin D reduced hospital admission but not falls. In this study, about half the subjects had levels of vitamin D indicating deficiency, and almost all had levels lower than desirable at the outset. The investigators conclude that it might make most sense to use vitamin D supplementation and extended physical therapy together after hip fracture to improve the likelihood for a healthy recovery.
[Archives of Internal Medicine, May 10, 2010]