Dr. Michael Silverstein M.D., M.P.H Professor of Pediatrics Director of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics Vice Chair of Research, Department of Pediatrics Boston University School of Medicin

USPSTF: Not Enough Evidence To Recommend For or Against Vitamin D Screening in Asymptomatic Adults

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Michael Silverstein M.D., M.P.H Professor of Pediatrics Director of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics Vice Chair of Research, Department of Pediatrics Boston University School of Medicin

Dr. Silverstein

Dr. Michael Silverstein M.D., M.P.H
Professor of Pediatrics
Director of the Division of General Academic Pediatrics
Vice Chair of Research, Department of Pediatrics
Boston University School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Vitamin D is an important nutrient for keeping bones healthy, and it may also have a role in other aspects of good health. However, we do not have enough evidence to understand what levels of vitamin D people need to keep them healthy or what levels are too low.

As a result, the Task Force determined there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against screening for vitamin D deficiency in adults who do not have signs or symptoms. It is our hope that with more research, we will be able to make a strong, evidence-based recommendation on screening for vitamin D deficiency in the future.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: For this recommendation, the Task Force focused on screening for vitamin D deficiency in people who do not have any signs or symptoms indicating that the levels of vitamin D in their blood are too low. The challenge is that ideal vitamin D levels vary from person to person, and there may not be one single level of vitamin D in the blood that is too low for everyone. So, while we know that vitamin D is an important nutrient, we need to know more about what levels of vitamin D are optimal in order to make a recommendation for or against screening.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: We continue to call for more research to better understand what levels of vitamin D people need to keep them healthy and what levels are too low. Once we have enough evidence to better understand that, then research could more clearly determine whether screening for vitamin D can help prevent negative health outcomes.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Until we have enough evidence to make a strong recommendation, the Task Force advises clinicians to use their best judgement and keep an eye out for symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in their patients so they can connect them to the care they need. Those symptoms can include muscle weakness, bone pain, and fatigue. The health of people nationwide is the Task Force’s main priority, and people who are concerned about their vitamin D levels should talk with their doctor about their individual health needs.

Citations:

US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2021;325(14):1436–1442. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.3069

Kahwati LC, LeBlanc E, Weber RP, et al. Screening for Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults: Updated Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. 2021;325(14):1443–1463. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.26498

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