Investigating vitamin D levels
Testing for vitamin D has increased more than 10-fold in the past five years, with test orders rising at a faster rate than for any other medical test.
This surge is likely to be due to increased GP interest in vitamin D deficiency, reports of its high prevalence in Australia, and its suggested role in a range of health conditions.
The latest education program from the NPS provides guidance about who is at risk, when testing is of value and appropriate supplementation for those who are deficient.
In the absence of clear Australian guidelines, this program encourages assessment of risk through a targeted approach to testing rather than screening patients.
Studies show moderate to severe vitamin D deficiency is uncommon in the general Australian population, though there are some at-risk groups for which vitamin D testing and supplementation is advisable.
These include people:
- who are housebound,