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

J Nutr Health. 2019 Oct;52(5):465-474. Korean.
Published online Oct 30, 2019.
© 2019 The Korean Nutrition Society
Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and cognitive function in Korean older adults living in rural area
Ye Som Shin,1 Bo Youl Choi,2 Mi Kyung Kim,2 and Yoon Jung Yang3
1Department of Clinical Nutrition, Graduate School of Public Health, Dongduk Women's University, Seoul 02748, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul 04763, Korea.
3Department of Food and Nutrition, School of Natural Science, Dongduk Women's University, Seoul 02748, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-2-940-4465, Email:
Received Apr 09, 2019; Revised Aug 22, 2019; Accepted Oct 15, 2019.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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.

Keywords: serum vitamin D; cognitive function; mild cognitive impairment; elderly


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.
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Table 1
General characteristics of the study subjects according to serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations
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Table 2
Nutrient intake of the study subjects by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations
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Table 3
Average of MMSE-KC1) part score by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations
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Table 4
Percentage of cognitive impairment by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations
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Table 5
Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for the risk of cognitive impairment by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations
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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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