[PHNUTR-L] Vitamin D Linked With Neuromuscular Performance in the
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD
fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com
Thu Sep 29 05:13:31 PDT 2005
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Vitamin D Linked With Neuromuscular Performance in the Elderly
Medscape Medical News 2005. © 2005 Medscape
Sept. 28, 2005 (Nashville) — Low serum levels of vitamin D in the body
may make elderly persons more susceptible to falls, Netherlands
researchers reported here at the American Society of Mineral and Bone
Research (ASBMR) 27th annual meeting.
"Low levels of vitamin D were associated with low physical performance,"
said Ilse Wicherts, a doctorate student at Vu University Medical Center
in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. "This study shows that neuromuscular
performance in those with lower levels of vitamin D was significantly
lower than those with adequate levels.
"These individuals already are fragile," added Ms. Wicherts, the winner
of an ASMBR Young Investigator Award. "The lack of mobility places them
at high risk of falls and fractures."
In the study 1,238 men and women (mean age, 75 years) by Ms. Wicherts
and colleagues, a low serum level of vitamin D was associated with lower
neuromuscular performance. The study was undertaken within the framework
of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA).
Neuromuscular performance was measured by five chair stands for muscle
strength, a walking test for balance, and tandem stand testing
coordination and mobility where participants must stand with one foot in
front of the other. Each performance test was scored in seconds and was
classified with scores from 1 to 4 according to quartiles of
distribution. The total performance score for muscle strength and
balance ranged from 0 to 12. The researchers used a multivariate
regression analysis adjusted for age, sex, and body mass index.
Eleven percent of the participants had serum vitamin D levels less than
25 nmol/L, 37% had levels between 25 and 50 nmol/L, 33% had levels
between 50 and 75 nmol/L, and 17% had levels of 75 nmol/L or above.
Scores for chair stands, the walking test, and tandem stand each showed
significant improvement with increased serum levels of vitamin D.
Participants with vitamin D at 25 nmol/L had a performance score of 4.9
while those with vitamin D levels between 25 and 50 nmol/L had scores of
6.82 and those with levels between 50 and 75 nmol/L had scores of 8.10.
Participants with vitamin D levels of 75 nmol/L or higher had
performance scores of 8.72.
"There was a linear progression," Ms. Wicherts said. "The change in
performance scores with increasing serum 25(OH)D was significant for all
When researchers adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, smoking, and
alcohol consumption, the performance score increased significantly with
serum vitamin D levels up to 50 nmol/L. Performance was reduced 18% if
the vitamin D levels were lower than 25 nmol/L compared with
participants with levels of 75 nmol/L or higher and 5% if vitamin D
levels were between 25 and 50 nmol/L after adjusting for other risk
factors, Ms. Wicherts said.
"Persons with low serum vitamin D levels had a higher risk for low
physical performance," Ms. Wiecherts told Medscape. "The strongest
effects were found in persons with a major deficiency."
"This is a very important study because it suggests that vitamin D is
not only important for bone health, but is important in neuromuscular
stability," said Elizabeth Shane, MD, president-elect of ASBMR. "Bone
fracture is due to not only bone issues, but issues contributing to falls.
"There is a two-pronged effect here that can increase the propensity for
fractures in the elderly," Dr. Shane said. "Adequate Vitamin D can aid
in improving muscle strength and preventing falls in this older age group."
ASBMR 27th Annual Meeting: Abstract 1134. Presented September 26, 2005.
Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD < fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com >
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