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To assess the benefits of the introduction of routine vitamin D serum sampling for all patients admitted to a secure in-patient hospital in the North of England providing medium security, low security and rehabilitation services for offenders with intellectual and developmental disability. The vitamin D levels of 100 patients were analysed at baseline. Those with insufficient or deficient levels were offered treatment and retested after 1 year. Vitamin D levels were analysed in the context of level of security, seasonality of test and co-prescription of psychotropic medications.
Eighty-three per cent of patients had suboptimal vitamin D levels at initial test (41% deficient and 42% insufficient). This was seen among established patients and new admissions. Regression analysis of baseline vitamin D levels revealed no differences for levels of security, seasonality, whether patients were taking antipsychotic or anticonvulsant medication, or length of stay. Patients with deficiency or insufficiency were all offered supplementation. Those who opted in had significantly higher vitamin D levels at follow-up, compared with those who declined treatment.
Established and newly admitted patients in our secure mental health services had substantial levels of vitamin D insufficiency. In the light of the morbidities that are associated with deficient vitamin D levels, routine screening and the offer of supplementation is advisable.
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