Vitamin D deficiency is common in the elderly and contributes to the increased incidence of
falls, hip fracture and depression in this population. An unknown number of elderly have
vitamin D resistance resulting in a functional vitamin D deficiency state. Because there
are no simple procedures or blood tests that identify vitamin D resistance, its prevalence
and contribution to disability in the elderly is unknown. Our inability to screen for this
condition precludes our ability to initiate and monitor treatment.
Previous studies indicate that fingernail thickness correlates with vitamin D status and may
therefore provide a simple cost effective procedure to not only identify patients with
vitamin D deficiency but also, those with vitamin D resistance. This procedure may also
provide a way to monitor an individual's response to treatment.
This study is designed to demonstrate the association between fingernail thickness and
vitamin D status.
- females 25-75 years of age with no known bone disorders
- history of vertebral fractures or nonvertebral fractures without trauma
- prescription medications for prevention of osteoporosis (including vitamin D other
than multivitamin and estrogen)
- history of malignancy other than basal cell or squamous cell cancer of the skin
- use of steroids or anticonvulsants in the 6 months prior to enrollment