A study published in October 2013 indicates that vitamin D levels correlate with physical performance in older adults. According to the Administration on Aging, 28 percent of community-resident Medicare beneficiaries age 65 years or older reported difficulty in performing one or more activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, eating and getting around the house.

The subjects included 616 older adults who had visited an emergency department due to a fall. The researchers measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. The investigators also evaluated physical performance using the Timed Up and Go Test, the Five Time Sit to Stand Test, handgrip strength and the tandem stand test.

The researchers showed that, in men, a higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was associated with better handgrip strength and faster times on the Timed Up and Go Test and Five Time Sit to Stand Test. Among the women, the researchers found that higher serum 25-hydroxyvitmain D level was associated with faster Timed Up and Go Test time.

The study authors concluded, “A positive association was found between serum 25-hydroxyvtaimn D level and physical performance in men and women. Intervention studies are needed of vitamin D-deficient older men and women to further investigate the effect of vitamin D supplementation in this group.”

Boye ND, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2013 Oct 1. [Epub ahead of print.]



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