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Vitamin D supplementation and cognition-Results from analyses of the D-Health trial


Pham, H and Waterhouse, M and Rahman, S and Baxter, C and Duarte Romero, B and McLeod, DSA and Armstrong, BK and Ebeling, PR and English, DR and Hartel, G and Kimlin, MG and O'Connell, RL and van der Pols, JC and Venn, AJ and Webb, PM and Whiteman, DC and Almeida, OP and Neale, RE, Vitamin D supplementation and cognition-Results from analyses of the D-Health trial, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society pp. 1-12. ISSN 0002-8614 (2023) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2023 The American Geriatrics Society.

DOI: doi:10.1111/jgs.18247


Background: Observational studies have consistently found a link between low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration and higher risk of cognitive impairment. Results from randomized controlled trials have been mixed, and few have been conducted in the general population.

Methods: We recruited 21,315 community-dwelling Australians aged between 60 and 84 years to participate in the D-Health Trial, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The intervention was monthly oral doses of 60,000 international units of vitamin D or placebo for 5 years. We assessed cognitive function in a randomly sampled group of participants aged ≥70 years using the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS) at 2 and 5 years after randomization. The primary outcome for this analysis was TICS score; the secondary outcome was the proportion of people who had cognitive impairment (defined as TICS score ≤25). We analyzed data using mixed models (linear and logistic).

Results: We interviewed 3887 participants at year 2 and 3614 participants at year 5. The mean TICS score at these time points was 32.3 and 32.2, respectively. Vitamin D supplementation did not affect cognitive function as measured by TICS score (mean difference between vitamin D and placebo groups 0.04; 95% CI -0.14 to 0.23), or alter risk of cognitive impairment (odds ratio 1.00; 95% CI 0.75 to 1.33).

Conclusions: Monthly bolus doses of vitamin D supplementation neither enhanced nor hindered cognitive function among older adults. Population-wide vitamin D supplementation of older adults that are largely vitamin D replete is unlikely to substantially benefit cognition.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Vitamin D, cognition
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Endocrinology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Prevention of human diseases and conditions
UTAS Author:Venn, AJ (Professor Alison Venn)
ID Code:155441
Year Published:2023
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2023-02-20
Last Modified:2023-03-21

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