The Arthritis Foundation estimates that 46 million adults in the United States, or one in every five Americans, have been diagnosed with arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus or fibromyalgia. What's more, the organization notes that arthritis-related conditions account for 36 million ambulatory care visits, 9,367 deaths and 744,000 hospitalizations annually in the U.S. alone.
Additionally, arthritic conditions can increase the risk of falls that lead to bone fractures. However, individuals can take a variety of preventive measures to deter arthritis and other conditions related to the joints and bones. Some studies have shown that adequate calcium and vitamin D levels in the blood can improve bone strength and decrease the risk of developing certain joint conditions.
MedPage Today recently reported that a new study from the University of Bergen in Norway found that vitamin D can help prevent hip fractures in older individuals. According to the news provider, the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, revealed that vitamin D deficiencies are linked to an increased prevalence of hip fractures, especially among senior citizens.
The researchers found that the connection between hip fractures and vitamin D deficiencies was more prevalent among men, while the study took into account several alternative risk factors, such as body mass index, age and genetic predispositions. The source noted that vitamin D levels above 75 nanomole/liter in the bloodstream were found to prevent hip fractures, while those under 40 nml/L were linked to a higher risk of suffering from the injury.
MedPage Today added that while the researchers felt confident that these findings are indicative of actual risk factors according to vitamin D levels, more research is still needed to identify the specific relationship between nutrient deficiencies and hip fractures.
Resurgence and Ecologist recently reported that many individuals who work in offices or other indoor environments are not getting the vitamin D they need to remain healthy. The source suggested that vitamin D deficiencies can lead to chronic illnesses, and are becoming more common as a higher number of professionals work inside with the passing of each year.
Individuals who work indoors or have other risk factors related to the adverse effects of vitamin D should consider consuming more foods rich in the nutrient, such as fish, fortified cereals, dairy products and eggs. Vitamin D supplements also provide an opportunity to maintain healthy blood levels.