Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Cognition

EXETER, England, July 14 (UPI) — Low levels of vitamin D in the elderly may be linked to cognitive decline, researchers in Britain suggest.

Study leader David Llewellyn of the University of Exeter in England tested overall cognition — thinking, learning and memory — in elderly study participants three times over a six-year period.

The researchers also tested attention and executive function — the ability to plan, organize and prioritize.

The study, reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found those deficient in vitamin D were 60 percent more likely to have substantial decline in overall cognition and 31 percent more likely to have declines in executive function than those with sufficient vitamin D. Attention showed no significant association.

“If future prospective studies and randomized controlled trials confirm that vitamin D deficiency is causally related to cognitive decline, then this would open up important new possibilities for treatment and prevention,” the study authors said in a statement.

Llewellyn and colleagues considered blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D — vitamin D — in the 858 study participants.

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