Vitamin D deficiency is associated with worse cognitive performance and lower bone density in older african americans

Consuelo H. Wilkins, Stanley J. Birge, Yvette I. Sheline, John C. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Vitamin D deficiency is common in older adults and is more prevalent among persons with darker pigmented skin. The detrimental effects of vitamin D deficiency on the bone are widely known; however, recent data suggest that vitamin D deficiency may contribute to other disorders, including low mood, cognitive impairment, and impaired mobility. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether nonskeletal diseases such as depression, cognitive impairment, and physical disability, which have been associated with vitamin D deficiency, are more commonly seen in older African Americans. Design: In a cross-sectional study of60 older adults (30 African Americans and 30 European Americans), vitamin D status, cognitive performance, physical performance, and bone mineral density (BMD) were assessed. Differences between groups and differences between those with vitamin D deficiency and those with normal vitamin D levels were tested. Results: African Americans had a lower mean 25-hydroxyvi- tamin D level (17.98 ng/ml; SD, 6.9) compared to European Americans (25.20 ng/ml; SD, 7.0; p <.0001). Participants with vitamin D deficiency performed worse on a measure of cognitive performance, the Short Blessed Test (10.87 vs 6.31; p =.016); the Physical Performance Test (PPT) (27.00 vs 28.96; p =.039); and had lower BMD (0.823 vs 0.914; p=.005) and t scores (-1.29 vs -0.72; p =.008) of the hip. Among African Americans, vitamin D deficiency was associated with worse cognitive performance and lower BMD of the hip. Conclusions; Vitamin D deficiency in older African Americans was associated with worse cognitive performance and lower BMD of the hip.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-354
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Volume101
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2009

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Bone
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Vitamins and minerals

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