Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with cognitive executive function in dutch prefrail and frail elderly: a cross-sectional study exploring the associations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D with glucose metabolism, cognitive performance and depression

E.M. Brouwer-Brolsma*, O. van de Rest, M. Tieland, N.L. van der Zwaluw, W.T. Steegenga, J.J.M.E. Adam, L.J. van Loon, E.J. Feskens, L.C. de Groot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: The primary objective was to explore the possible association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) and vitamin D intake with markers of glucose metabolism, depression, and cognitive performance. In addition, we examined to what extent the associations between vitamin D and cognitive performance were modified or mediated by fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Cross-sectional study using data of 127 frail or prefrail Dutch elderly, aged 65 years or older. Frailty was defined according to the criteria of Fried and colleagues. A participant was classified prefrail when 1 to 2 criteria were met; frailty was classified as the presence of 3 or more criteria. MEASUREMENTS: Associations of 25(OH)D and vitamin D intake with markers of glucose metabolism and domain-specific cognitive performance were examined by multivariable regression analyses. The possible association of vitamin D with depression and global cognitive performance was explored by Poisson regression. RESULTS: No associations were observed for 25(OH)D with FPG, fasting plasma insulin (FPI), Homeostasis Model Assessment-estimated Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR), or depression. In contrast, serum 25(OH)D was positively associated with executive functioning (beta 0.007, P = .01) and tended to be associated with information-processing speed (beta 0.006, P = .06). FPG did not modify or mediate these associations. Vitamin D intake was not associated with cognitive performance, glucose metabolism, or depression. CONCLUSION: This cross-sectional study suggests an association of serum 25(OH)D with domain-specific cognitive performance, in particular executive functioning and possibly information-processing speed, but not with FPG, FPI, HOMA-IR, or depression. Whether these associations are causal is yet to be demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852 e9-e817
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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