Increase in Vitamin D prescriptions in a Southern Italy region over 2011-2015 period
Cholecalciferol is the main dietary form of vitamin D. Its synthesis depends on the intensity of the ultraviolet radiation. Since endogenous vitamin D levels are often low and food is naturally poor of all forms of vitamin D, supplementary treatment need to be frequently prescribed from physicians. Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the main circulating vitamin D metabolite, determine the range of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency, as 20-13 ng/ml and less than 12 ng/ml, respectively.
The aim of the present study was to analyze changes in prescribing pattern of vitamin D in a region of the Southern Italy (Basilicata). We examined the trend in the vitamin D prescription, by age and gender, over the period 2011 to 2015. We classified population in three subgroups: pediatrics (0-14 years old), adults (15-65 years old and elderly (over 65 years old).
Our results showed a yearly marked increase of Vitamin D prescription for all three age groups, in both sexes. Moreover, in adult and older women there was a higher increase in terms of number of patients, sum of dispensed boxes and total costs compared to men.
In conclusion, we gave an overview on the use of vitamin D supplementation in Basilicata, from 2011 until 2015, indicating an extensive annual increase of its prescription, particularly in adult and older women.