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March 20, 1996

Vitamin D Deficiency in Homebound Elderly Persons-Reply

Author Affiliations

Union Memorial Hospital
National Institute on Aging Baltimore, Md

JAMA. 1996;275(11):839. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530350020024

In Reply.  —We appreciate the interest in our work and the opportunity to respond to the thoughtful comments of Dr Whit-more. There are many studies of vitamin D status in nonhomebound elderly, including the BLSA cohort.1-3 The control population in our study consisted of a subset of the BLSA. Sherman et al3 reported findings about the vitamin D status in this BLSA population in which participants were screened for diseases and for medications that affect calcium or vitamin D metabolism. The expected seasonal fluctuation was observed, but vitamin D status remained adequate. The vitamin D status also did not decline with age. In this population, without other factors interfering with vitamin D status, vitamin D deficiency generally does not occur. It is conceivable that differences in vitamin D status between the BLSA and other study groups exist because the BLSA represents a carefully screened, healthy ambulatory group. Other