Low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D increases cognitive impairment in elderly people

  • Mayumi Sakuma
  • Kaori Kitamura
  • Naoto Endo
  • Takeshi Ikeuchi
  • Akio Yokoseki
  • Osamu Onodera
  • Takeo Oinuma
  • Takeshi Momotsu
  • Kenji Sato
  • Kazutoshi Nakamura
  • Ichiei Narita
Original Article


It has been reported that many elderly people have low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and that serum 25(OH)D levels may have a relationship with cognitive function. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between serum 25(OH)D levels and cognitive function in a Japanese population. This cross-sectional study was performed as a part of the Project in Sado for Total Health (PROST). The PROST study evaluated cognitive state and serum vitamin D level from June 2011 to November 2013 for 740 patients (431 men and 309 women). The Mini-Mental State Examination-Japanese version (MMSE-J) and serum 25(OH)D level measurements were used as assessment tools. Cognitive impairment was defined using MMSE-J ≤ 23 as a cutoff. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) for low MMSE-J scores. The average subject age was 68.1 years, the average MMSE- J score was 25.9, and the average 25(OH)D level was 24.6 ng/mL. Significant ORs for cognitive impairment were observed for both high age and low serum 25(OH)D. The adjusted OR for the lowest versus highest serum 25(OH)D quartiles was 2.70 (95% confidence interval 1.38–5.28, P = 0.0110). Low serum 25(OH)D levels were independently associated with a higher prevalence of cognitive impairment.


Cognitive impairment 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Cross-sectional study Mini-Mental State Examination-Japanese Version (MMSE-J) 



The authors gratefully acknowledge Ms. Chieko Nishizawa and all the staff at Sado General Hospital for their support in the collection of patient data.


The work was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for the Project in Sado for Total Health (PROST) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

All authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society for Bone and Mineral Research and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mayumi Sakuma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kaori Kitamura
    • 3
  • Naoto Endo
    • 4
  • Takeshi Ikeuchi
    • 5
  • Akio Yokoseki
    • 6
  • Osamu Onodera
    • 7
  • Takeo Oinuma
    • 8
  • Takeshi Momotsu
    • 8
  • Kenji Sato
    • 8
  • Kazutoshi Nakamura
    • 3
  • Ichiei Narita
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medical TechnologyNiigata University of Health and WelfareNiigataJapan
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryNiigata University Medical and Dental HospitalNiigataJapan
  3. 3.Division of Preventive MedicineNiigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesNiigataJapan
  4. 4.Division of Orthopedic Surgery, Department of Regenerative and Transplant MedicineNiigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesNiigataJapan
  5. 5.Department of Molecular Genetics, Brain Research InstituteNiigata UniversityNiigataJapan
  6. 6.Center for Inter-Organ Communication ResearchNiigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesNiigataJapan
  7. 7.Department of Molecular Neuroscience, Resource Branch for Brain Disease Research, Brain Research InstituteNiigata UniversityNiigataJapan
  8. 8.Sado General HospitalSadoJapan
  9. 9.Division of Clinical Nephrology and RheumatologyNiigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesNiigataJapan

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