The majority of Older British Columbians take Vitamin D-containing supplements

Timothy J. Green, Susan I. Barr, Gwen E. Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Health Canada recommends vitamin D supplements (10 μg/d) for Canadians aged ≥50 years, but no data are available on adoption of this recommendation. Accordingly, this study was conducted to determine the current use of vitamin D supplements among British Columbian adults 50 years and over, and to explore relationships among vitamin D supplement use, socio-demographic variables, and knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about vitamin supplementation. Methods: A population-representative stratified sample, recruited by random-digit dialling, completed a telephone-administered survey in late fall of 2008. Respondents provided details on supplements used in the past month (dosage, frequency, etc.) and demographic data, and responded to statements reflecting health beliefs about supplements, from which a Supplement Health Belief score was calculated. Eligible non-respondents indicated their age, sex, and whether they had used a supplement within the past month. Results: Similar proportions of participants (n=969) and non-respondents (n=1,027) reported any supplement use in the past month. Among participants, 60% had used a vitamin D supplement (median intake among supplement users was 10 μg/d) and 3% exceeded the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of 50 μg/d. In multivariate analysis, vitamin D supplementation was significantly associated with female sex, not smoking, higher educational attainment, having a health care professional recommend supplement use, and a higher Supplement Health Belief score. Conclusion: Although most older adults used a vitamin D supplement, further dissemination of this recommendation is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-250
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • British columbia
  • Health beliefs
  • Older people
  • Supplement
  • Survey
  • Vitamin d


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