What is it about?
New research from Trinity College Dublin shows that vitamin D deficiency is an important determinant of poor skeletal muscle function in adults aged 60 years and over. Maintaining skeletal muscle function throughout life is a crucial component of successful ageing, in promoting independence, mobility, quality of life and reducing falls and frailty. While resistance exercise is known to preserve muscle function, there is growing evidence that adequate vitamin D status may also be protective. • The prevalence of muscle weakness was twice as high among older adults with vitamin D deficiency (40.4%) compared with vitamin D adequacy (21.6%). • Similarly, impaired ‘muscle performance’ was 3 times higher in older adults with vitamin D deficiency (25.2%) compared with vitamin D adequacy (7.9%). • Based on more complex statistical analysis, the study showed that vitamin D deficiency significantly increased the likelihood of impaired muscle strength and performance. • The study confirmed the associated benefits of physical activity. Older adults partaking in regular moderate physical activity had significantly lower likelihood of poor muscle strength and physical performance. • In summary, vitamin D deficiency was associated with impaired muscle strength and performance in a large study of community-dwelling older people. • It is generally accepted that vitamin D deficiency (at the 25(OH)D <30 nmol/L cut-off) should be reversed to prevent bone disease, this strategy may also protect skeletal muscle function in ageing. The findings are based on the analysis of data from 4157 community-dwelling adults aged 60 years and over, from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA). Two validated measures of muscle function were assessed, namely hand grip strength and the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). Serum vitamin D was measured [25-hydroxyvitamin D] with a concentration <30 nmol/L classed as vitamin D deficient, the cut-off known to be associated with bone disease.
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Why is it important?
Maintaining skeletal muscle function throughout life is a crucial component of successful ageing, in promoting independence, mobility, quality of life and reducing falls and frailty. While resistance exercise is known to preserve muscle function, there is growing evidence that adequate vitamin D status may also be protective.
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This page is a summary of: Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated With Impaired Muscle Strength And Physical Performance In Community-Dwelling Older Adults: Findings From The English Longitudinal Study Of Ageing, Clinical Interventions in Aging, October 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.2147/cia.s222143.
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