Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.52(5) > 1136453

Shin, Choi, Kim, and Yang: Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and cognitive function in Korean older adults living in rural area



This study examined the association between the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration and the cognitive functions in Korean elderly.


The subjects were 393 adults aged 60 years or older who participated in the Yangpyeong cohort between July 2009 and August 2010. The subjects were classified into deficiency, insufficiency, or adequacy groups according to the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration diagnostic criteria suggested by the US Institute of Medicine (IOM). The cognitive function was assessed based on the Korean version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE-KC). The dietary intake was assessed using the quantitative food frequency questionnaire with 106 food items.


The proportions of deficiency, insufficiency, or adequacy in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D were 6.6%, 44.5%, and 48.9%, respectively. The serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration was significantly higher in men than in women and in outdoor workers than in other occupations. The adequacy group had higher MMSE-KC scores than the other two groups, but not to a significant degree. The proportion of cognitive impairment tended to decrease with increasing serum vitamin D concentration to deficiency, insufficiency, and adequacy (p for trend = 0.029). The deficiency group had a 2.28 times higher risk of cognitive impairment than the adequacy group, but the difference was not statistically significant (OR, 2.28; 95% CI, 0.18 ~ 1.07, p for trend = 0.119).


The serum vitamin D concentration tended to be associated with the cognitive function in elderly Koreans living in rural areas. To confirm the associations, further longitudinal studies with large samples were required.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1

The averages of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations according to general characteristics. Each bar presents the mean ± SD. Letters above bar represent significant differences by one-way ANOVA followed by post hoc with Tukey test.

Table 1

General characteristics of the study subjects according to serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations


1) p-value by one-way ANOVA for continuous variables and the Chi-square test for categorical variables

2) Mean ± SD

3) Letters represent significant differences by one-way ANOVA followed by post hoc with Tukey test.

Table 2

Nutrient intake of the study subjects by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations


1) p-value by general linear model adjusting for age, sex

2) Mean ± SD

Table 3

Average of MMSE-KC1) part score by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations


1) MMSE-KC: Korean version of the Mini-Mental State Examination in the Korean version of CERAD Assessment Packet

2) p-value by general linear model adjusting for age, sex, and education level

3) Mean ± SD

Table 4

Percentage of cognitive impairment by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations


1) p-value by the Chi-square test for categorical variables

2) p for trend by Cochran-Armitage test

Table 5

Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for the risk of cognitive impairment by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations


OR and 95% CI were obtained using multiple logistic regression analysis

1) Model 1: adjusted age, sex and education level

2) Model 2: adjusted age, sex, education level and drink

3) p for trend by Cochran-Armitage test


This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (No. 2016R1A2B2011352).


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Ye Som Shin

Bo Youl Choi

Mi Kyung Kim

Yoon Jung Yang

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