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A DAIRY-BASED PROTEIN, CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENT REDUCES FALLS AND FEMORAL NECK BONE LOSS IN AGED CARE RESIDENTS: A CLUSTER RANDOMISED TRIAL

S. Iuliano-Burns, J. Woods, K. King, A. Ghasem Zadeh, X.-F. Wang, Q. Wang, E. Seeman

J Aging Res Clin Practice 2012;1(2):141-146

Objectives: To test if a dairy-based protein (9g/d), calcium (600mg/d) and vitamin D (960IU/d) supplement formulated to increase intakes to recommended levels would reduce falls and fracture risk in ambulatory low-level aged care residents. Design: Cluster-randomised, single-blind intervention. Setting: 16 low-level aged care facilities in Melbourne, Australia. Participants: 813 residents (mean age 86.1 ± 5.9 years, 76% female). Intervention: 12 months of observation in all facilities followed by 8 months of food-based supplementation (intervention) or usual intake (controls). Measurments: Number of fallers, and non-vertebral fractures, serum 25(OH)D, PTH, osteocalcin, bone mineral density (BMD), bone structure and volumetric BMD at the distal radius and tibia using high-resolution pQCT, balance (Lord’s balance test) and functionality (timed up and go, walking velocity). Repeated measures ANOVA and logistic regression models were used to compare cases and controls. Results: Among the whole sample, supplementation reduced the number of fallers by 42% (OR = 0.58, 95% CI: 0.44 – 0.78, p < 0.001), Among the 58 participants with follow up data, supplementation prevented bone loss at the proximal femur, maintained serum 25(OH)D and reduced PTH by 16% ± 8%, p < 0.03. Conclusion: Fortifying foods with protein, calcium and vitamin D reduced falls in ambulatory aged care residents and is a widely accessible, and inexpensive approach to potentially reduce falls and slow the progression of bone fragility in the elderly.

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