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Diabetes, hyperglycemia, depression, poor balance, etc. all associated with low vitamin D in seniors – March 2014

Associations between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and multiple health conditions, physical performance measures, disability, and all-cause mortality:

the Concord Health and J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Mar;62(3):417-25. doi: 10.1111/jgs.12693. Epub 2014 Feb 27.
Ageing in Men Project.
Hirani V1, Cumming RG, Naganathan V, Blyth F, Le Couteur DG, Handelsman DJ, Waite LM, Seibel MJ.
1Centre for Education and Research on Ageing, Concord Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

OBJECTIVES: To explore associations between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and a wide range of health conditions, physical performance measures, disability, and mortality in a large epidemiological study to identify an optimum range for 25(OH)D concentrations.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study, with additional prospective data on falls and mortality.

SETTING: Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project, Sydney, Australia.

PARTICIPANTS: Community-dwelling men aged 70 and older (N = 1,659).

MEASUREMENTS: Serum 25(OH)D levels, general health status, self-reported diseases, physical performance measures, disability (activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living) and falls.

RESULTS: Fair, poor, and very poor health; self-reported diabetes mellitus; hyperglycemia; depression; muscle weakness; poor balance; and all-cause mortality were all associated with serum 25(OH)D levels less than 50 nmol/L, even after adjustment for confounding.
The findings also suggest that, in older men, for a wide range of health conditions, physical performance measures, disability, falls, and mortality, the optimum range of 25(OH)D is between 50.0 and 74.9 nmol/L, with no additional benefit for 25(OH)D levels of 75.0 nmol/L or greater.

CONCLUSION: Programs aimed at achieving an optimum range of serum 25(OH)D at levels between 50.0 and 74.9 nmol/L may have overall health benefits and such levels are adequate for older men.

PMID: 24576190


See also VitaminDWiki

  1. Senior skin produces 3X less Vitamin D for the same sun intensity
  2. Seniors have fewer vitamin D receptors as they age
    (The effect of low Vitamin D receptor genes does not show up on vitamin D test results)
  3. Seniors are indoors more than when when they were younger
    not as agile, weaker muscles; frail, no longer enjoy hot temperatures
    (if outside, stay in the shade), however, seniors might start outdoor activities like gardening, biking, etc.
  4. Seniors wear more clothing outdoors than when younger
    fear skin cancer/wrinkles, sometimes avoid bright light after cataract surgery
  5. Seniors often take various drugs which reduce vitamin D (some would not show up on vitamin D test) statins, chemotherapy, anti-depressants, blood pressure, beta-blockers, etc
  6. Seniors often have one or more diseases which consume vitamin D ( osteoporosis, diabetes, MS, ...)
  7. Seniors generally put on weight at they age - and a heavier body requires more vitamin D
  8. Seniors often (40%) have fatty livers – which do not process vitamin D as well
  9. Seniors not have as much Magnesium needed to use vitamin D
    (would not show up on vitamin D test)
  10. Seniors with poorly functioning kidneys do not process vitamin D as well
    (would not show up on vitamin D test) 2009 full text online  Also PDF 2009
  11. Vitamin D is not as bioavailable in senior digestive systems (Stomach acid or intestines?)
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