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Keywords:

  • older adults;
  • physical performance;
  • vitamin D;
  • falls;
  • muscle strength

Objectives

To investigate whether serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) is associated with physical performance in men and women.

Design

Cross-sectional.

Setting

Emergency departments (EDs) of five hospitals.

Participants

Older adults who visited an ED because of a fall (N = 616).

Measurements

Physical performance was assessed using the Timed Up and Go Test, the Five Time Sit to Stand Test, handgrip strength, and the tandem stand test. Multivariate linear regression was used to assess the association between physical performance and log-transformed 25(OH)D concentration adjusted for potential confounders.

Results

In men, higher serum 25(OH)D concentration was significantly associated with better handgrip strength (regression coefficient (B) = 3.86, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.04−5.69), faster TUG time (B = −2.82, 95% CI = −4.91 to −0.73), and faster FTSS time (B = −3.39, 95% CI = −5.67 to −1.11). In women, higher serum 25(OH)D concentration was significantly associated with faster TUG time (B = −2.68, 95% CI = −4.87 to −0.49).

Conclusion

A positive association was found between serum 25(OH)D level and physical performance in men and women. Intervention studies are needed of vitamin D–deficient older men and women to further investigate the effect of vitamin D supplementation in this group.