Vitamin D Deficiency: Implications Across the Lifespan

Rebecca Wike Malone; Cathy Kessenich


Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 2008;4(6):448-456. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Vitamin D deficiency can occur in infancy, childhood, midlife, and aging. Research is emerging regarding vitamin D deficiency and its effect on neuromuscular function, cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory illnesses, and bone mineralization. Recent evidence has shown that there is a need for increased vitamin D supplementation across the lifespan. Nurse practitioners must understand the effect of vitamin D deficiency on multiple body systems, assessment for deficiency, treatment, and prevention.


The role of vitamin D and calcium absorption in the eldery with osteoporosis has been well documented. However, as more evidence is developed, it is becoming clear that vitamin D deficiency is not only affecting the elderly population, it has negative effects across the lifespan. It is estimated that 1 billion people worldwide have vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency.[1] Review of research in medical, nursing, and nutritional literature reveals the need for vitamin D education, supplementation, and follow-up in all ages and treatment settings.


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