There is not enough evidence to recommend screening for vitamin D deficiency in adults with no symptoms of deficiency, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Image of Meera Viswanathan, Ph.D.
Meera Viswanathan, Ph.D.

What’s more, a review of current research also suggests that vitamin D treatment among asymptomatic individuals with low vitamin D has “no effect on most health outcomes,” according to findings published Tuesday online.

The investigators analyzed randomized, controlled trials that evaluated the benefits or harms of vitamin D deficiency screening or treatment in adults — with and without calcium supplements. Treatment was found to have no effect on mortality, fractures and incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer or depression. In addition, the evidence was inconclusive for the effect of treatment on falls, physical functioning and infection, reported Meera Viswanathan, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Notably, despite a “reasonable number of studies” available on falls incidence and vitamin D, the evidence as a whole was inconclusive regarding any significant associations between the two, Viswanathan and colleagues wrote.

Meanwhile, the task force found no research that reliably evaluated the direct benefit or harms of screening for vitamin D deficiency.

In the treatment studies chosen for analysis, at least 90% of participants had serum vitamin D levels less than 30 ng/mL (some experts recommend a level between 30 and 50 ng/mL).

A draft recommendation review is available for download and comment on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force website.