Vitamin K Status and Lower Extremity Function in Older Adults: The Health Aging and Body Composition Study

M. Kyla Shea*, Richard F. Loeser, Fang-Chi Hsu, Sarah L. Booth, Michael Nevitt, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Elsa S. Strotmeyer, Cees Vermeer, Stephen B. Kritchevsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Web of Science)


While low vitamin K status has been associated with several chronic diseases that can lead to lower extremity disability, it is not known if low vitamin K status is associated with worse lower extremity function. Vitamin K status was measured according to plasma phylloquinone (vitamin K1) and dephosphorylated-uncarboxylated MGP (dp-ucMGP) in 1,089 community-dwelling older adults (mean +/- SD age =74 +/- 3 years; 67% female). Lower extremity function was assessed using the short physical performance battery (SPPB), gait speed, and isokinetic leg strength. Linear regression and mixed models were used to determine the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between vitamin K status and functional outcome measures. Cross-sectionally, higher plasma phylloquinone was associated with better SPPB scores and 20-m gait speed (p a parts per thousand currency sign .05). After 4-5 years, those with a parts per thousand yen1.0nM plasma phylloquinone (the concentration achieved when recommended intakes are met) had better SPPB scores (p = .03) and 20-m gait speed (p <.05). Lower plasma dp-ucMGP (reflective of better vitamin K status) was associated with better SPPB scores and leg strength cross-sectionally (p a parts per thousand currency sign .04), but not longitudinally. Neither measure of vitamin K status was associated with walking endurance or with the rate of decline in function. Older adults with higher vitamin K status had better physical performance scores at baseline, but data are less consistent longitudinally. Since lower extremity disability is a common consequence of multiple chronic diseases for which a role of vitamin K has been suggested, future studies are needed to determine if vitamin K supplementation could improve function in those with vitamin K insufficiency and clarify underlying mechanism(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1355
JournalJournals of Gerontology Series A-Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • Physical performance
  • Nutrition
  • Physical function
  • Vitamin K

Cite this