Osteoporotic fractures occur in almost half of patients with a spinal cord injury (SCI) and are associated with significant morbidity and excess mortality. Paralyzed Veterans Administration (PVA) guidelines suggest that adequate calcium and vitamin D intake is important for skeletal health, however, the association of these supplements with osteoporotic fracture risk is unclear.


To determine the association of filled prescriptions for calcium and vitamin D with fracture risk in Veterans with an SCI.


The 5897 persons with a traumatic SCI of at least 2 years’ duration (96% male; 4% female) included in the VSSC SCI/D Registry in FY2014 were followed from FY2014 to FY2020 for incident upper and lower extremity fractures. Filled daily prescriptions for calcium or vitamin D supplements for ≥6 months with an adherence ≥80% were examined.


Filled prescriptions for calcium (hazard ratio [HR] 0.65; 95% CI, 0.54-0.78) and vitamin D (HR 0.33; 95% CI, 0.29-0.38) supplements were associated with a significantly decreased risk for incident fractures.


Calcium and vitamin D supplements are associated with decreased risk of fracture, supporting PVA guidelines that calcium and vitamin D intake are important for skeletal health in persons with an SCI.

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