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Rehabilitation Research and Practice
Volume 2016, Article ID 9689760, 6 pages
Research Article

Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Elderly Patients Admitted to an Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit in Tropical Singapore

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433

Received 11 November 2015; Accepted 26 January 2016

Academic Editor: Eric Kerckhofs

Copyright © 2016 Jong J. Neo and Keng H. Kong. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Data on hypovitaminosis D in elderly patients admitted to rehabilitation units in tropical countries are scarce. Objective. To assess the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its associated risk factors in elderly patients admitted to a rehabilitation unit in tropical Singapore. Methods. Prospective, cohort study of 134 subjects ≥ 65 years old admitted to a tertiary rehabilitation centre. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25OHD3) was measured on rehabilitation admission. Results. Mean age was years, and stroke was the commonest rehabilitation diagnosis (49.3%). Low 25OHD3 levels were present in 115 patients (85.6%) and 59 patients (44%) were deemed to be vitamin D deficient. The mean PTH level was significantly higher in patients with low 25OHD3 levels. () Age, gender, vitamin D supplementation, premorbid ambulatory status, and admission/discharge Functional Independence Measure scores were not significantly associated with vitamin D deficiency. Malays/Indians () and recurrent fallers () were at significantly higher risk of vitamin D deficiency. Conclusions. Despite the tropical weather, vitamin D deficiency is common in elderly subjects admitted to a rehabilitation unit in Singapore. Routine assessment of vitamin D levels is recommended especially in those with a history of recurrent falls and patients of Indian/Malay ethnicity.