Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration and its determinants in the very old: the Newcastle 85+ Study.Osteoporos Int. 2016 Mar; 27(3):1199-1208.OI
Data on vitamin D status in very old adults are lacking. The aim of this study was to assess 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations and its predictors in 775 adults aged 85 years old living in North-East England. Low 25(OH)D was alarmingly high during winter/spring months, but its biological significance is unknown.
Despite recent concerns about the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in much of the British adult and paediatric population, there is a dearth of data on vitamin D status and its predictors in very old adults. The objective of the present study was to describe vitamin D status and its associated factors in a broadly representative sample of very old men and women aged 85 years living in the North East of England (55° N).
Serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] were analysed in 775 participants in the baseline phase of the Newcastle 85+ cohort study. Season of blood sampling, dietary, health, lifestyle and anthropometric data were collected and included as potential predictors of vitamin D status in ordinal regression models.
Median serum 25(OH)D concentrations were 27, 45, 43 and 33 nmol/L during spring, summer, autumn and winter, respectively. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency according to North American Institute of Medicine guidelines [serum 25(OH)D <30 nmol/L] varied significantly with season with the highest prevalence observed in spring (51%) and the lowest prevalence observed in autumn (23%; P < 0.001). Reported median (inter-quartile range) dietary intakes of vitamin D were very low at 2.9 (1.2-3.3) μg/day. In multivariate ordinal regression models, non-users of either prescribed or non-prescribed vitamin D preparations and winter and spring blood sampling were associated with lower 25(OH)D concentrations. Dietary vitamin D intake, disability score and disease count were not independently associated with vitamin D status in the cohort.
There is an alarming high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (<30 nmol/L) in 85-year-olds living in North East England at all times of the year but particularly during winter and spring. Use of vitamin D containing preparations (both supplements and medications) appeared to be the strongest predictor of 25(OH)D concentrations in these very old adults.