Posted on Aug 19, 2013, 6 a.m.
Low Vitamin D levels may increase a person’s risk of physical limitations, among older men and women.
In that Vitamin D plays a key role in muscle health, Evelien Sohl, from the VU University Medical Center (The Netherlands) and colleagues explored its role in risks of functional limitations among aging men and women. The researchers analyzed data collected on 1,237 men and women ages 65 to 88 years, and 725 people ages 55 to 65 years. The team classified functional limitations including problems walking up and down stairs, problems dressing or undressing, difficulty getting in and out of a chair, grooming issues, being able to walk for five minutes without rest, and the ability to use transportation. Among the older group, 56% experienced at least one limitation; with Vitamin D deficiency determined to be significantly related to functional limitations after three years. Among the younger group, 30% had at least one limitation; vitamin D deficiency was linked to an increase in limitations after six years. The study authors conclude that: “Vitamin D status is associated with functional limitations cross-sectionally and longitudinally in individuals aged 55 to 65 years and those 65 years and older. The possible association of vitamin D with functional limitations is present after a shorter follow-up time in the oldest age group compared with the younger age group.”
E. Sohl, N. M. van Schoor, R. T. de Jongh, M. Visser, D. J. H. Deeg, P. Lips. “Vitamin D Status Is Associated With Functional Limitations and Functional Decline in Older Individuals.” JCEM, July 17, 2013 jc.2013-1698.