(HealthDay News) — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to weigh the benefits and harms of vitamin D deficiency screening in asymptomatic adults. These findings form the basis of a final recommendation statement published online November 25 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Erin S. LeBlanc, MD, MPH, from Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, OR, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine the benefits and harms of screening for vitamin D deficiency in asymptomatic adults.

The researchers found that there were no studies that examined the impact of vitamin D screening vs. no screening on clinical outcomes. Compared with placebo or no treatment, vitamin D treatment was associated with decreased mortality (11 studies; risk ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.70–0.99), although after trials of institutionalized people were excluded the benefits were no longer observed (eight studies, risk ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.73–1.18). There was no significantly increased risk for serious adverse events with vitamin D treatment. On the basis of these findings, the USPSTF concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to weigh the balance of benefits and harms of screening.

“The Task Force recognizes the increasing interest in how vitamin D impacts health,” Task Force member Linda Baumann, PhD, RN, said in a statement. “However, there is not enough clear evidence at this time for us to recommend for or against screening for vitamin D deficiency.”

Evidence Review
Recommendation Statement