A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Philippe Autier, MD; Sara Gandini, PhD
Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(16):1730-1737
Background Ecological and observational studies suggest that low vitamin D status could be associated with higher mortality from life-threatening conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes mellitus that account for 60% to 70% of total mortality in high-income countries. We examined the risk of dying from any cause in subjects who participated in randomized trials testing the impact of vitamin D supplementation (ergocalciferol [vitamin D2] or cholecalciferol [vitamin D3]) on any health condition.
Methods The literature up to November 2006 was searched without language restriction using the following databases: PubMed, ISI Web of Science (Science Citation Index Expanded), EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library.
Results We identified 18 independent randomized controlled trials, including 57 311 participants. A total of 4777 deaths from any cause occurred during a trial size–adjusted mean of 5.7 years. Daily doses of vitamin D supplements varied from 300 to 2000 IU. The trial size–adjusted mean daily vitamin D dose was 528 IU. In 9 trials, there was a 1.4- to 5.2-fold difference in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D between the intervention and control groups. The summary relative risk for mortality from any cause was 0.93 (95% confidence interval, 0.87-0.99). There was neither indication for heterogeneity nor indication for publication biases. The summary relative risk did not change according to the addition of calcium supplements in the intervention.
Conclusions Intake of ordinary doses of vitamin D supplements seems to be associated with decreases in total mortality rates. The relationship between baseline vitamin D status, dose of vitamin D supplements, and total mortality rates remains to be investigated. Population-based, placebo-controlled randomized trials with total mortality as the main end point should be organized for confirming these findings.
Author Affiliations: International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France (Dr Autier); and the European Institute of Oncology, Milano, Italy (Dr Gandini).
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Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(16):1709-1710.