Berlin. The IGeL Medical Services Monitor of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Companies (MDS) has been investigating self-pay services in medical practices for ten years. 55 individual health services (IGeL) have already been tested and the scientific team has given a “tendly positive” rating in only two cases. The rating was “unclear” 22 times. Newly, there is also an examination for the early detection of vitamin D deficiency. Scientists have decided here as well, as the IGel monitor announced on Wednesday.
Accordingly, the MDS found no studies examining the benefits or harms of vitamin D screening in adults without evidence of vitamin D deficiency. Regular intake of vitamin D also showed no positive health effects. The IGeL monitor therefore rates vitamin D screening as “unclear”.
Further studies are needed
Further studies are needed to adequately assess benefit/harm. “The direct harms of vitamin D screening do not exceed the risks of drawing blood. However, screening tests in general can lead to false-negative or false-positive results, as well as overdiagnosis,” the researchers say.
The studies are largely based on examinations of people aged 50 and over. There were almost no corresponding surveys for younger people. Only people living in medical or nursing facilities seem to benefit from vitamin D supplementation, so screening for vitamin D deficiency in this population may be useful.
An early detection test for vitamin D deficiency is often offered or required in medical practices. It was among the 20 most frequently mentioned self-pay services in the IGeL Monitor 2020 report. In many practices, it is offered alone or in combination with other vitamin determinations as a so-called “vitamin check”. (strong)