Advertisement

Study "Confirms" Link Between Low Vitamin D Levels and Dementia, Researchers Say — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
August 7, 2014

Study "Confirms" Link Between Low Vitamin D Levels and Dementia, Researchers Say

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM

A new study in Neurology adds to the mounting evidence linking vitamin D deficiency with increased risk for dementia and Alzheimer disease (AD).

Some 1700 older adults free of dementia, stroke, and cardiovascular disease underwent serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D measurement and then were followed for roughly 6 years. During that time, some 170 developed all-cause dementia and 100 developed AD.

Compared with participants with sufficient baseline vitamin D levels (50 nmol/L or higher), those with deficient levels (25-50 nmol/L) had significantly increased risks for dementia (hazard ratio, 1.5) and AD (HR, 1.7). Relative risks were even higher for those with severely deficient vitamin D levels (HR, 2.2 for either dementia or AD).

The researchers conclude, "Our results confirm that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease. This adds to the ongoing debate about the role of vitamin D in nonskeletal conditions."

Reader Comments (6)

John Schmitz, PA-C Other Healthcare Professional, Internal Medicine, Community Clinic

Dealing with adult and elderly women in a relatively northern area (Boston), this is just one more reason to push vitamin D in moderate doses.

Claude Mondiere Physician, Other, Houston

I worked in France as a clinical researcher in MS and I was thinking of the differences between patients in the metabolism of the Vit D and the genetic path of hydroxylation. I was prescribing Dedrogyl with adjustment depending of the blood test. And my patients were feeling better.

Nitin trivedi Physician, Endocrinology

We should look at the study very carefully. Another possible reasons for the association of vitamin D deficiency with dementia is that patients with dementia may not get enough sunlight exposure because these patients may not be as ambulatory as patients without dementia.

Irene Campbell-Taylor MB ChB, PhD Other Healthcare Professional, Neurology, Private practice

If this were the case, the rates of dementia should be lower in Australia and the Scandinavian countries because of 1) sunlight and 2) a diet heavy in fish. I believe this has been investigated in MS on a global basis.

David Foster, MD Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice, Oregon

There is a great gap between "associated" and "caused". Is there any study that suggests that manipulating the serum D3 level reduces dementia, or is it equally possible that dementia causes low vitamin D. We've made the same mistake with serum cholesterol and discovered the futility of treating with drugs that have no endothelial protection, regardless if cholesterol is reduced, and also misinterpreted folic acid's cause/effect on homocysteine.

BOBBY MAREK Physician

Does the "associated" mean causation. That is what clinicians need to know.

Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement