Specialist challenges utility of vitamin D test

SERUM vitamin D testing is labelling patients at risk of bone disease without robust evidence to back the cut-offs, according to a provocative claim by leading Australian endocrinologist Professor Ego Seeman.

In an unpublished study presented at a conference last week, Professor Seeman, from Austin Health in Melbourne, found that vitamin D deficiency was only rarely associated with markers of bone disease, and vitamin D insufficiency not at all.

As a result, he said, many patients were being inappropriately labelled at risk of bone disease and unduly treated with supplements with known side effects.

Speaking to Medical Observer ahead of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia’s ann­ual conference in Melbourne, Professor Seeman agreed his presentation, The Mythology of Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency, was provocative. “It might cause a bit of a stir,” he said.