This site uses cookies to measure how you use the website so it can be updated and improved based on your needs and also uses cookies to help remember the notifications you’ve seen, like this one, so that we don’t show them to you again. If you could also tell us a little bit about yourself, this information will help us understand how we can support you better and make this site even easier for you to use and navigate.

Vitamin D and risk of cognitive decline in elderly persons


Llewellyn, David J., Lang, Iain A., Langa, Kenneth M., Muniz-Terrera, Graciela, Phillips, Caroline L., Cherubini, Antonio, Ferrucci, Luigi, Melzer, David


Archives Of Internal Medicine, Volume: 170, No.: 13, Pages.: 1135-1141

Year of Publication



Background: To our knowledge, no prospective study has examined the association between vitamin D and cognitive decline or dementia.; Methods: We determined whether low levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) were associated with an increased risk of substantial cognitive decline in the InCHIANTI population-based study conducted in Italy between 1998 and 2006 with follow-up assessments every 3 years. A total of 858 adults 65 years or older completed interviews, cognitive assessments, and medical examinations and provided blood samples. Cognitive decline was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and substantial decline was defined as 3 or more points. The Trail-Making Tests A and B were also used, and substantial decline was defined as the worst 10% of the distribution of decline or as discontinued testing.; Results: The multivariate adjusted relative risk (95% confidence interval [CI]) of substantial cognitive decline on the MMSE in participants who were severely serum 25(OH)D deficient (levels <25 nmol/L) in comparison with those with sufficient levels of 25(OH)D (>/=75 nmol/L) was 1.60 (95% CI, 1.19-2.00). Multivariate adjusted random-effects models demonstrated that the scores of participants who were severely 25(OH)D deficient declined by an additional 0.3 MMSE points per year more than those with sufficient levels of 25(OH)D. The relative risk for substantial decline on Trail-Making Test B was 1.31 (95% CI, 1.03-1.51) among those who were severely 25(OH)D deficient compared with those with sufficient levels of 25(OH)D. No significant association was observed for Trail-Making Test A.; Conclusion: Low levels of vitamin D were associated with substantial cognitive decline in the elderly population studied over a 6-year period, which raises important new possibilities for treatment and prevention.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Llewellyn_2010, doi = {10.1001/archinternmed.2010.173}, url = {}, year = 2010, month = {jul}, publisher = {American Medical Association ({AMA})}, volume = {170}, number = {13}, pages = {1135}, author = {David J. Llewellyn}, title = {Vitamin D and Risk of Cognitive Decline in Elderly Persons}, journal = {Arch Intern Med} }


aged, analogs derivatives, blood, cognition, cognition disorders, complications, d, drug therapy, epidemiology, etiology, female, humans, incidence, italy, male, pharmacokinetics, physiology, population surveillance, prevention & control, prognosis, prospective studies, radioimmunoassay, risk factors, therapeutic use, time factors, vitamin, vitamin d, vitamin d deficiency, vitamins

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Cohort Study

Type of Outcomes


Type of Interventions

Risk Factor Modification

Risk Factor Modifications

General population health promotion