Changing the awareness of low vitamin D status in a rheumatology population: a pre/post-study
INTRODUCTION: In 2009 hypovitaminosis D was highly prevalent in a population of Swiss rheumatology patients (86%). We aimed to evaluate the evolution of vitamin D status in the same population two years later, after the results of the first study were disseminated to local physicians and patients, in order to determine the evolution of the problem and the impact of physician information.
METHOD: Patients in our rheumatology clinic were screened for 25-OH vitamin D. Results were categorised as: deficient (<10 ng/ml or <25 nmol/l), insufficient (10 to 30 ng/ml or 25 to 75 nmol/l) or normal (>30 ng/ml or >75 nmol/l). We also used another cut-off of 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/l). We evaluated the evolution of 25-OH vitamin D dosages and vitamin D3 prescriptions between 2008 and 2011 in our institution and the number of publications on vitamin D in three important medical journals of the French speaking part of Switzerland.
RESULTS: Compared with 2009, significantly more patients had normal results in 2011. Fifty-two percent of patients had levels >20 ng/ml in 2009 and 66% in 2011, difference statistically significant (p = 0.001). During the years separating the two study periods the number of 25-OH vitamin D dosages and the prescription of high doses of vitamin D3 increased in our hospital. In addition the number of publications on vitamin D increased between 2008 and 2011.
CONCLUSION: We concluded that lower prevalence in hypovitaminosis D is certainly related to better adherence to daily supplements, and to better information and awareness of the physicians about hypovitaminosis D.
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