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The association between 25-Hydroxyvitamin D concentration and disability trajectories in very old adults: The Newcastle 85+ study

Lookup NU author(s): Sarah Hakeem Hakeem, Dr Nuno MendoncaORCiD, Dr Terry AsprayORCiD, Dr Andrew KingstonORCiD, Emerita Professor Carol Jagger, Professor John Mathers, Dr Rachel Duncan, Professor Thomas Hill



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.Background: Low vitamin D status is common in very old adults which may have adverse consequences for muscle function, a major predictor of disability. Aims: To explore the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations and disability trajectories in very old adults and to determine whether there is an ‘adequate’ 25(OH)D concentration which might protect against a faster disability trajectory. Methodology: A total of 775 participants from the Newcastle 85+ Study for who 25(OH)D concentration at baseline was available. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations of <25 nmol/L, 25–50 nmol/L and >50 nmol/L were used as cut-offs to define low, moderate and high vitamin D status, respectively. Disability was defined as difficulty in performing 17 activities of daily living, at baseline, after 18, 36 and 60 months. Results: A three-trajectory model was derived (low-to-mild, mild-to-moderate and moderate-to-severe). In partially adjusted models, participants with 25(OH)D concentrations <25 nmol/L were more likely to have moderate and severe disability trajectories, even after adjusting for sex, living in an institution, season, cognitive status, BMI and vitamin D supplement use. However, this association disappeared after further adjustment for physical activity. Conclusions: Vitamin D status does not appear to influence the trajectories of disability in very old adults.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hakeem S, Mendonca N, Aspray T, Kingston A, Ruiz-Martin C, Jagger C, Mathers JC, Duncan R, Hill TR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nutrients

Year: 2020

Volume: 12

Issue: 9

Print publication date: 01/09/2020

Online publication date: 09/09/2020

Acceptance date: 07/09/2020

Date deposited: 14/12/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2072-6643

Publisher: MDPI AG


DOI: 10.3390/nu12092742

PubMed id: 32916847

Notes: This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin D in 2020: Stop or Not Yet?


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Funder referenceFunder name
Biomedical Science Research Council (G0500997)
e British Heart Foundation Nutrients2020, 12, 2068 16 of 22 (606013333)
Medical Research Council
Newcastle University,
the Dunhill MedicalTrust (R124/0509),