Seniors with a fractured hip found to be K deficient

British researchers suggest that vitamin K deficiency that is common in malnourished older people may account for a high proportion of hip fracture incidents. Short period of fasting prior to surgical stabilization of hip fracture might further increase this deficiency. The results of a recently completed observational study have been published in Acta Clinica Belgica.

The mean age of participants was 80.0 ± 9.6 years. The authors measured vitamin K and PIVKA-II (undercarboxylated factor II – a marker of subclinical vitamin K status) in 55 consecutive patients hospitalized with a hip fracture on admission and on first post-operative day, excluding those on anticoagulants. Prevalence of vitamin K deficiency in hip fracture patients on admission was high: 36% (20/55) based on reference range of > 0.15µg/L, and increased further following a short period of fasting: after surgery the proportion with subclinical K deficiency rose to 64% (35/55), p < 0.05. Moreover, 13% had detectable PIVKA-II concentrations pre-operatively, 15% did post-operatively. The researchers concluded that larger studies are warranted to explore 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 fractured hip. “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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