Several studies have indicated that older adults with cognitive impairment have a poorer lifestyle than their healthy peers including lower 25-hydroxy-vitamin D levels (25OHD).
To investigate the associations between lifestyle and 25OHD depending on cognitive status among old adults.
Community-dwelling old adults (65-96 years) participated in this cross-sectional study based on the Age-Gene/Environment-Susceptibility-Reykjavik-Study. The analytical sample included 5162 subjects who were stratified by cognitive status, i.e., dementia (n = 307), mild cognitive impairment (MCI, n = 492), and normal cognitive status (NCS, n = 4363). Lifestyle variables were assessed and 25OHD was measured. The associations between lifestyle and 25OHD were calculated using linear models correcting for potential confounders.
According to linear regression models, 25OHD was significantly lower in older people with dementia (53.8 ± 19.6 nmol/L) than in NCS participants (57.6 ± 17.7 nmol/L). Cod liver oil (7.1-9.2 nmol/L, P < 0.001) and dietary supplements (4.4-11.5 nmol/L, P < 0.001) were associated with higher 25OHD in all three groups. However, physical activity ≥ 3 h/week (2.82 nmol/L, P < 0.001), BMI < 30 kg/m (5.2 nmol/L, P < 0.001), non-smoking (4.8 nmol/L, P < 0.001), alcohol consumption (2.7 nmol/L, P < 0.001), and fatty fish consumption ≥ 3x/week (2.6 nmol/L, P < 0.001) were related to higher 25OHD in NCS only, but not in participants with dementia or MCI.
Older people living in Iceland with dementia are at higher risk for 25OHD deficiency when compared to healthy individuals. Physical activity reported among participants with dementia, and MCI is low and is not significantly associated with 25OHD.
Lifestyle factors among NCS participants are associated with 25OHD levels. Importantly, healthy lifestyle should be promoted among individuals with MCI and dementia.