European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 379–389 | Cite as

Patterns of circulating fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids and risk of frailty in four European cohorts of older adults

  • Sophie PilleronEmail author
  • Daniela Weber
  • Karine Pérès
  • Marco Colpo
  • David Gomez-Cabrero
  • Wolfgang Stuetz
  • Jean-François Dartigues
  • Luigi Ferrucci
  • Stefania Bandinelli
  • Francisco Jose Garcia-Garcia
  • Tilman Grune
  • Catherine FéartEmail author
  • On behalf of the FRAILOMIC initiative
Original Contribution



To investigate the cross-sectional and prospective associations between patterns of serum fat-soluble micronutrients and frailty in four European cohorts of older adults 65 years of age and older.


Participants from the Three-City (Bordeaux, France), AMI (Gironde, France), TSHA (Toledo, Spain) and InCHIANTI (Tuscany, Italy) cohorts with available data on serum α-carotene, β-carotene, lycopene, cryptoxanthin, lutein + zeaxanthin, retinol, α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D) were included. A principal component (PC) analysis was used to derive micronutrient patterns. Frailty was defined using Fried’s criteria. Multivariate logistic regression models adjusted for socio-demographic and health-related covariates were performed to assess the association between micronutrient patterns and prevalent frailty in 1324 participants, and the risk of frailty in 915 initially non-frail participants.


Three different patterns were identified: the first pattern was characterized by higher serum carotenoids and α-tocopherol levels; the second was characterized by high loadings for serum vitamins A and E levels and low loadings for carotenes level; the third one had the highest loading for serum 25(OH)D and cryptoxanthin level and the lowest loading for vitamin A and E. A significant cross-sectional association was only observed between the seconnd PC and prevalent frailty (p = 0.02). Compared to the highest quartile, participants in the lowest quartile—i.e., high carotenes and low vitamins E and A levels—had higher odds of frailty (Odds ratio = 2.2; 95% confidence interval 1.3–3.8). No association with the risk of frailty was observed.


These findings suggest that some specific micronutrient patterns are markers but not predictors of frailty in these European cohorts of older adults.


Frailty Fat-soluble micronutrients Carotenoids Pattern Older adults Cohort 



This work has been supported the FRAILOMIC Initiative (FP7-HEALTH-2012-Proposal No. 305483-2). The Three-City Study is conducted under a partnership agreement between the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Victor Segalen–Bordeaux2 University and the Sanofi-Synthélabo company. The Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale funded the preparation and beginning of the study. The 3C-Study is also sponsored by the Caisse Nationale Maladie des Travailleurs Salariés, Direction Générale de la Santé, Conseils Régionaux of Aquitaine and Bourgogne, Fondation de France, Ministry of Research-INSERM Program Cohortes et collections de données biologiques, the Fondation Plan Alzheimer (FCS 2009–2012), the Caisse Nationale pour la Solidarité et l’Autonomie (CNSA) and the “Programme Longévité et vieillissement”, COGICARE 07-LVIE 003 01. The AMI project was funded by AGRICA (CAMARCA, CRCCA, CCPMA PREVOYANCE, CPCEA, AGRI PREVOYANCE), la Mutualité Sociale Agricole (MSA) de Gironde, la Caisse Centrale de la Mutualité Sociale Agricole (CCMSA). The InCHIANTI study baseline (1998–2000) was supported as a “targeted project” (ICS110.1/RF97.71) by the Italian Ministry of Health and in part by the U.S. National Institute on Aging (Contracts: 263 MD 9164 and 263 MD 821336); the InCHIANTI Follow-up 1 (2001–2003) was funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging (Contracts: N.1-AG-1-1 and N.1-AG-1-2111); the InCHIANTI Follow-ups 2 and 3 studies (2004–2010) were financed by the U.S. National Institute on Aging (Contract: N01-AG-5-0002);supported in part by the Intramural research program of the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland. The TSHA cohort was funded by grants PI07/90637, PI10/01532 and CB16/10/00456 from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Spain), 03031-00 from the Instituto de Ciencias de la Salud de Castilla la Mancha and PI2010/020 from FISCAM. Finally, the authors thank Drs Miranda M. Fidler and Citadel Cabasag for editing this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

CF received fees for conferences from Danone Research and Nutricia. The other authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

394_2017_1602_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (73 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 72 KB)
394_2017_1602_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (204 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 203 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Pilleron
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniela Weber
    • 2
    • 3
  • Karine Pérès
    • 1
  • Marco Colpo
    • 4
  • David Gomez-Cabrero
    • 5
  • Wolfgang Stuetz
    • 6
  • Jean-François Dartigues
    • 1
  • Luigi Ferrucci
    • 7
  • Stefania Bandinelli
    • 8
  • Francisco Jose Garcia-Garcia
    • 9
  • Tilman Grune
    • 2
    • 3
    • 10
    • 11
  • Catherine Féart
    • 1
    Email author
  • On behalf of the FRAILOMIC initiative
  1. 1.Inserm, Bordeaux Population Health Research CenterUMR 1219, University BordeauxBordeauxFrance
  2. 2.Department of Molecular ToxicologyGerman Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE)NuthetalGermany
  3. 3.NutriAct-Competence Cluster Nutrition Research Berlin-PotsdamNuthetalGermany
  4. 4.Department of StatisticsUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  5. 5.Unit of Computational MedicineKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  6. 6.Institute of Biological Chemistry and NutritionUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  7. 7.National Institute on AgingBaltimoreUSA
  8. 8.Geriatric Unit, Local Health Tuscany Center AgencyFlorenceItaly
  9. 9.Division of Geriatric MedicineHospital Virgen del Valle Complejo Hospitalario de ToledoToledoSpain
  10. 10.German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD)Munich-NeuherbergGermany
  11. 11.German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK)BerlinGermany

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