Osteoporosis International

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 187–196 | Cite as

Vitamin D status is associated with physical performance: the results of three independent cohorts

  • E. Sohl
  • R. T. de Jongh
  • A. C. Heijboer
  • K. M. A. Swart
  • E. M. Brouwer-Brolsma
  • A. W. Enneman
  • C. P. G. M. de Groot
  • N. van der Velde
  • R. A. M. Dhonukshe-Rutten
  • P. Lips
  • N. M. van Schoor
Original Article



This study, on the association between vitamin D status and physical performance and its decline, shows that vitamin D status is associated with physical performance in several older age groups. However, vitamin D status does not predict a decline in physical performance in individuals aged 55–65 years.


Previous research in the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA) showed an association of vitamin D status with physical performance and its decline in persons aged 65 years and older. The current study aims to determine these associations in younger individuals and to replicate previous research of LASA.


Data from three independent cohorts were used: two cohorts of LASA (LASA-II with measurements in 2002 (n = 707) and 2009 (n = 491), LASA-I-2009 (n = 355)) and the baseline measurement of the B-Vitamins for the Prevention of Osteoporotic Fractures (B-PROOF) study (n = 2,813). Participants performed three tests (walking test, chair stands, and tandem stand; range total score 0–12), except in LASA-II-2002 (only walking and chair stands tests; range total score 0–8). Multiple linear and logistic regression were used to assess whether vitamin D status was associated with total physical performance and its decline, respectively.


The mean age of the participants was 60.0 (SD 3.0), 65.9 (2.9), 78.4 (5.3), and 74.4 (6.8) years for LASA-II-2002, LASA-II-2009, LASA-I-2009, and B-PROOF, respectively. Vitamin D status was not predictive of a clinical decline in total physical performance score in the LASA-II-2002 cohort (aged 55–65 years). After adjustment for confounding, participants with serum 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L scored 0.8 (95 % confidence interval 0.4–1.2), 0.9 (0.3–1.5), 1.5 (0.8–2.3), and 0.6 (0.3–0.9) points lower on total physical performance than participants with serum 25(OH)D ≥ 75 nmol/L.


Our study confirmed that serum 25(OH)D is associated with physical performance. However, vitamin D status did not predict a clinical decline in physical performance in individuals aged 55–65 years.


Decline in physical performance Older individuals Physical performance Vitamin D deficiency 



This study was partly funded by ZonMw (the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development). LASA is largely supported by a grant from the Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sports, Directorate of Long-Term Care. The B-PROOF study is funded by ZonMw, NZO (Dutch Dairy Association), Orthica, NCHA (Netherlands Consortium Healthy Ageing), and Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture, and Innovation. The serum 25(OH)D measurements in LASA were partly funded by Merck & Co. We would like to thank the research team and participants of LASA and B-PROOF.

Conflicts of interest

An unconditional grant was received from Merck & Co. for part of the 25-hydroxyvitamin D measurements. All authors have nothing to disclose.


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Sohl
    • 1
  • R. T. de Jongh
    • 2
  • A. C. Heijboer
    • 3
  • K. M. A. Swart
    • 1
  • E. M. Brouwer-Brolsma
    • 4
  • A. W. Enneman
    • 5
  • C. P. G. M. de Groot
    • 4
  • N. van der Velde
    • 5
  • R. A. M. Dhonukshe-Rutten
    • 4
  • P. Lips
    • 2
  • N. M. van Schoor
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, EMGO Institute for Health and Care ResearchVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine and EndocrinologyVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Clinical ChemistryVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Division of Human NutritionWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Department of Internal Medicine-Section Geriatric Medicine, Erasmus MCUniversity Medical Centre RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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