Prevalence of vitamin K deficiency in older people with hip fracture (Bultynck C et al.)

The journal, Acta Clinica Belgica, has published results of a recently completed British observational study that explored the prevalence of vitamin K deficiency in hip fracture patients and the impact of a short period of fasting.

Vitamin K and PIVKA-II (undercarboxylated factor II – a marker of subclinical vitamin K status) have been measured in consecutive patients hospitalized with a hip fracture on admission and on first post-operative day, excluding those on anticoagulants. 55 participants with a mean age 80.0 ± 9.6 years have been included in the study, 33% were males. Prevalence of subclinical vitamin K deficiency on admission was 36% (20/55) based on reference range of > 0.15µg/L. The proportion with subclinical K deficiency after surgery rose to 64% (35/55), p < 0.05. 13% had detectable PIVKA-II concentrations pre-operatively, 15% did post-operatively. None had abnormal prothrombin time. Vitamin K status was not associated with post-operative hemoglobin drop or transfusion requirements.

The authors concluded that, “Prevalence of vitamin K deficiency in hip fracture patients is high and increases further following a short period of fasting. Though no significant impact was noted on peri-operative blood loss, larger studies are warranted to explore this, and the potential role of vitamin K supplements peri-operatively.”

Dr. Katarzyna Maresz, president of the International Science and Health Foundation, feels the results of this study point to an interesting new category for vitamin K2 usage, namely patients with a hip fracture. “It can be very dangerous for older patients to have their vitamin K2 status worsen, so it is interesting to consider the benefits K supplementation could provide to seniors before and after they undergo the hip fracture surgery.”


Bultynck C, Munim N, Harrington DJ, Judd L, Ataklte F, Shah Z & Dockery F (2019) Prevalence of vitamin K deficiency in older people with hip fracture, Acta Clinica Belgica 8:1-5, doi: 10.1080/17843286.2018.1564174

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