Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


College of Nursing


Nursing Practice

First Advisor

Kathleen Scharer


The importance of vitamin D to bone health is well known, yet new research has linked vitamin D to numerous chronic diseases severely affecting our society. Recent studies have suggested vitamin D plays a critical role in conditions such as diabetes, cancers, and cardiovascular diseases. These chronic conditions are among the main causes of morbidity and mortality in our society. In addition, a deficiency in vitamin D has become all too common with a majority of Americans deficient in this essential vitamin. Guidelines directing healthcare providers when to screen for vitamin D deficiency beyond bone health and also how to treat the disease do not currently exist. In addition, routine screening does not generally occur in the healthcare setting if the patient is not at risk for bone disease or fractures. Current guidelines are not sufficient to prevent the harmful effects related to a deficiency in vitamin D and adequate intake is essential to the health of all individuals. This paper provides an evidence-based guideline to educate providers on the numerous implications of vitamin D deficiency beyond bone health and explores whether sufficient levels of vitamin D reduce future health risks associated with numerous chronic diseases.


© 2010, Amy Jeanette Clark