Low Vitamin D Increases Your Chances of Being Admitted to a Nursing Home
September 23, 2006
A study has shown that elderly men and women who were deficient in vitamin D were significantly more likely to be admitted to a nursing home than those with high levels.
Vitamin D deficiency is common among senior citizens. Up to 90 percent may suffer from the deficiency.
One reason is their lower sunshine exposure, along with the reduced capacity of older skin to synthesize vitamin D when exposed to light. Poor nutritional intake is also a factor.
Low vitamin D concentrations may accelerate age-related decline in physical health. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to be one cause of lower muscle strength, loss of muscle strength, and poorer physical performance.
There is also an association between lower vitamin D concentrations and higher mortality risk. Several studies have shown improvements in muscle strength, body sway, fall risk, and physical performance following vitamin D supplementation.
The greater risk of nursing home admission can in part be explained by the high risk of osteoporosis, falls, and fractures related to a lack of vitamin D. But it could also be related to the fact that vitamin D deficiency has been shown to be connected to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and numerous other health problems. Insufficient vitamin D could be a main cause of poorer health, and higher health care costs, among older people.