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J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2014;33(1):35-46. doi: 10.1080/21551197.2013.867825.

Vitamin D status is associated with grip strength in centenarians.

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a Department of Foods and Nutrition , University of Georgia , Athens , Georgia , USA.


Low serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) have been associated with poor physical function in older adults, but few, if any, studies have examined this relationship in the very old. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine this relationship in the very old. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were obtained from 194 centenarians and near centenarians (98 years and older). The associations between 25(OH)D concentrations and measures of physical function were evaluated with unadjusted and adjusted regression models. We found that 35% of centenarians had 25(OH)D concentrations less than 50 nmol/L. Adjusted mean grip strength was lower for centenarians with 25(OH)D concentrations less than 75 nmol/L than for centenarians with higher concentrations (P<0.05). However, there were no differences in the Georgia Centenarian Study (GCS) Composite Scale, a global measure of physical function, between those with higher and lower 25(OH)D concentrations. We conclude that low 25(OH)D concentrations are associated with poor grip strength, but not GCS Composite Scale, in the very old. Considering the high burden of poor physical function in older adults, understanding the relationship between vitamin D and different measures of physical function, including strength, becomes increasingly important.

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