Amelioration of osteoporosis and hypovitaminosis D by sunlight exposure in stroke patients.
1: Neurology. 2003 Aug 12;61(3):338-42. PMID:12913194
BACKGROUND: The authors' previous investigations have disclosed low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) concentrations in 45 patients during long-term hospitalization following stroke (mean 5.9 ng/mL). This 25-OHD deficiency resulted from sunlight deprivation. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of sunlight exposure in increasing serum 25-OHD, in reducing the severity of osteoporosis in bone mineral density (BMD), and in decreasing the risk of hip fractures in chronically hospitalized, disabled stroke patients. METHODS: In a 12-month randomized and prospective study of stroke patients, 129 received regular sunlight exposure for 12 months, and the remaining 129 (sunlight-deprived) did not. RESULTS: At baseline, patients of both groups showed vitamin D deficiency. BMD increased by 3.1% in the sunlight-exposed group and decreased by 3.3% in the sunlight-deprived group (p = 0.0001). 25-OHD level increased by fourfold in the sunlight-exposed group. Six patients sustained hip fractures on the hemiplegic side in the sunlight-deprived group, and one hip fracture occurred among the sunlight-exposed group (p = 0421; odds ratio = 6.1). CONCLUSION: Sunlight exposure can increase the BMD of vitamin D-deficient bone by increasing 25-OHD concentration.