Vitamin D levels and cognition in elderly adults in China.

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To evaluate the association between vitamin D level and cognitive impairment in individuals aged 60 and older.


Cross-sectional cohort study.


Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, a community-based cohort study in areas in China where the density of centenarians is exceptionally high.


Individuals with mean age of 84.9 ± 12.7 (N = 2,004).


Participants' cognitive state was evaluated using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Vitamin D was measured in plasma using an enzyme-linked immunoassay.


The cross-sectional association between quartiles of plasma vitamin D level and cognitive impairment (MMSE score <18) was modeled using logistic regressions. Plasma vitamin D levels were lower in individuals with cognitive impairment (31.9 ± 15.3 nmol/L) than in those without (45.6 ± 19.6 nmol/L). There was a reverse association between plasma vitamin D and cognitive impairment. After adjusting for age, sex, chronic conditions, smoking and drinking habits, outdoor activities, depression, and activity of daily living limitations, the association remained significant. The multivariable-adjusted odds ratio for lowest versus highest vitamin D levels was 2.15 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.05-4.41) for cognitive impairment, and the multivariable odds ratio associated with a 1-standard deviation decrement in plasma vitamin D was 1.32 (95% CI = 1.00-1.74) for cognitive impairment.


Low plasma vitamin D levels were associated with greater odds of cognitive impairment. Further prospective studies in Asian populations are needed to examine the causal direction of this association.





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Chei, Choy-Lye, Prassanna Raman, Zhao-Xue Yin, Xiao-Ming Shi, Yi Zeng and David B Matchar (2014). Vitamin D levels and cognition in elderly adults in China. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 62(11). pp. 2125–2129. 10.1111/jgs.13082 Retrieved from

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Yi Zeng

Professor in Medicine

(1) Socioeconomic, behavior, environmental and genetic determinants of healthy aging and healthy longevity;
(2) Factors related to elderly disability and mental health;
(3) Methods of family households and elderly living arrangements forecasting/analysis and their applications in health services and socioeconomic planning, and market studies;
(4) Policy analysis in population aging, social welfare, retirement, and fertility transitions.


David Bruce Matchar

Professor of Medicine

My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention.
Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; (2) a balancing of methodological rigor the needs of medical professionals; and (3) dependence on interdisciplinary groups of experts.
This approach is best illustrated by the Stroke Prevention Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), for which I served as principal investigator. Funded by the AHCPR, the PORT involved 35 investigators at 13 institutions. The Stroke PORT has been highly productive and has led to a stroke prevention project funded as a public/private partnership by the AHCPR and DuPont Pharma, the Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial (MAST). MAST is a practice improvement trial in 6 managed care organizations, focussing on optimizing anticoagulation for individuals with atrial fibrillation.
I serve as consultant in the general area of analytic strategies for clinical policy development, as well as for specific projects related to stroke (e.g., acute stroke treatment, management of atrial fibrillation, and use of carotid endarterectomy.) I have worked with AHCPR (now AHRQ), ACP, AHA, AAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSA, WHO, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Key Words: clinical policy, disease management, stroke, decision analysis, clinical guidelines

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