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Low vitamin D associated with cognition in women who were 5 years older – Oct 2013

Plasma vitamin d levels and cognitive function in aging women: The nurses’ health study

The journal of nutrition, health & aging, October 2013
Benedetta Bartali bbartali at neriscience.com (1) (2) (3)
E. Devore (1) (2)
F. Grodstein (1) (2)
J. H. Kang (1) (2)
1. Department of Medicine, Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
2. New England Research Institutes, Epidemiology, Watertown, MA, USA
3. New England Research Institutes, Epidemiology, 9 Galen St., Watertown, MA, USA

Background: Vitamin D may play a role in preserving cognitive function. However, there is a paucity of prospective studies on the relationship between vitamin D and cognition with aging. The aim of this study was to examine the association between plasma levels of vitamin D and subsequent cognitive function.

Methods: This is a prospective study including 1,185 women aged 60–70 years from the Nurses’ Health Study, who had plasma 25-hydroxy-vitamin D levels measured in 1989–1990 and completed an initial Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status approximately 9 years later. Subsequently, three follow-up cognitive assessments were conducted at 1.5–2.0 years intervals. We used multivariable-adjusted linear regression to model initial cognitive function, and mixed linear regression to model change in cognitive function over time.

Results: Lower vitamin D levels were associated with significantly worse cognitive function 9 years later. For example, the mean global composite score averaging all the cognitive tests was 0.20 lower (95% Confidence Interval (CI):−0.33,−0.08; p-trend=0.009) in women in the lowest quintile (median=14.1 ng/mL) compared with women in the highest quintile of vitamin D (median=38.4 ng/mL). The observed differences were equivalent to the effect estimates we found for women who were approximately 4–6 years apart in age. However, vitamin D levels were not significantly associated with subsequent cognitive decline during 6 years of follow-up.

Conclusions: Higher levels of plasma vitamin D in women aged 60–70 years were associated with better cognitive function about a decade later but were not associated with cognitive decline during 6 years of follow-up.

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