Relationships between serum vitamin D levels, neuromuscular and neuropsychological function and falls in older men and women

Osteoporosis International, 05/09/2011

Menant JC et al. – The findings of this study highlight the associations between vitamin D insufficiency and impairments in physiological and neuropsychological function that predispose older people to fall. The significant relationship between vitamin D insufficiency and falls found in the men may relate to the stronger association found between serum 25OHD levels and dynamic balance measures evident in this male population.

Methods

  • 463 community-dwelling people aged 70–90 years underwent an assessment of physiological and neuropsychological performance and structured interviews relating to comorbidity and disability
  • Fall frequency during 12 months follow-up monitored with monthly falls diaries

Results

  • 21% of men and 44% of women were vitamin D insufficient (serum 25OHD?≤?50 nmol/L)
  • Participants with vitamin D insufficiency had weaker upper and lower limb strength, slower simple finger press and choice stepping reaction time, poorer leaning balance and slower gait speed, after controlling for age and body mass index, and, poorer executive function and visuospatial ability, after controlling for age and education. Vitamin D insufficiency significantly increased the rate of falls in men (IRR=1.94, 95% CI=1.19–3.15) but not in women

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