Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide public health concern, as it can lead to severe diseases, such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. PHCC’s Clinical Research Department followed the scientific method in approaching health problems by studying the magnitude of the problem, identifying its causes, and evaluating the available treatments, then proposing appropriate solutions and programs. The Department has studied the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and associated factors among adults who visit PHCC health centers in Qatar during the past years prior to COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Ahmed Al Nuaimi, Public Health and Community Medicine Research Consultant at PHCC, said: “Based on what has been done and in light of the results that have shown the prevalence of such a health problem in Qatar, we have conducted a second study to compare the effectiveness of the treatments available in health centers in addressing the problem of vitamin D deficiency, which is what this article talks about. There are two types of vitamin D replacement therapies available in PHCC and doctors can prescribe: D2 and D3 (with a different chemical composition). In addition, there are two forms of these pharmaceuticals, namely injections and oral tablets, although the latter (D3) has not been available as tablets until recently. The current study aimed to answer the following question: “How effective is vitamin D2 compared to vitamin D3 parenteral supplementation for raising serum vitamin D levels in adult patients treated in a primary health care setting?”
A total of 15,716 participants with this medical condition have been studied following approval of PHCC Research Ethics Committee. They were identified by studying the anonymized data taken from their electronic medical records (EMR) during the study period which lasted more than three years from January 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020.
Four treatment options were compared including vitamin D2 injections, vitamin D3 injections, combined use of vitamin D injections, D2 tablets, combined use of vitamin D3 injections, and D2 tablets. It’s worth noting that vitamin D tablets are mostly given as an option to continue treatment after using injections. The results showed that taking vitamin D3 in the form of injections followed by taking vitamin D2 as tablets was the best treatment option for vitamin D acute deficiency when used with patients registered at PHCC health centers.
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Effectiveness of vitamin D2 compared with vitamin D3 replacement therapy in a primary healthcare setting: a retrospective cohort study