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Vitamin D and parathyroid hormone are associated with gait instability and poor balance performance in mid-age to older aged women


Bird, M-L and El Haber, N and Batchelor, F and Hill, K and Wark, JD, Vitamin D and parathyroid hormone are associated with gait instability and poor balance performance in mid-age to older aged women, Gait and Posture, 59 pp. 71-75. ISSN 0966-6362 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2017.09.036


Context: Vitamin D status and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels influence the risk of accidental falls in older people, but the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear.

Objective: Investigate the relationship between circulating PTH and 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels and clinical tests of gait stability and balance as physical fall risk factors. We hypothesized that high levels of PTH and low 25-OHD levels would be significantly associated with gait stability and decreased balance performance.

Design: Observational cohort study.

Setting: Australian community.

Participants: 119 healthy, ambulatory female twin adults aged 47–80 years residing in Victoria, Australia.

Outcome measures: Serum PTH and 25-OHD levels with clinical tests of gait stability [double support duration (DSD)] and dynamic balance (Step Test). Associations were investigated by regression analysis and by comparing groups divided by tertiles of PTH (<3.5, 3.5–4.9, >4.9 pmol/L) and 25-OHD (<53, 53–75, >75 nmol/L) using analysis of variance.

Results: Serum PTH was associated positively with DSD, with an increase of 10.6–15.7% when the mid and highest PTH tertiles were compared to the lowest tertile (p < 0.025) when 25-OHD was included in the regression analysis. 25-OHD was significantly associated with DSD (greater by 10.6–11.1% when lowest and mid-tertiles compared with the highest 25-OHD tertile) (p < 0.025) and dynamic balance (better performance by 12.6% in the highest compared with the lowest 25OHD tertile) (p < 0.025).

Conclusion: These findings reveal an important new relationship between parathyroid hormone and gait stability parameters and add to understanding of the role of 25-OHD in motor control of gait and dynamic balance in community-dwelling women across a wide age span.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:accidental falls, motor control, posture
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Preventative health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Women's and maternal health
UTAS Author:Bird, M-L (Dr Marie-Louise Bird)
ID Code:125686
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2018-04-30
Last Modified:2019-03-25

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