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Monday
Sep172012

Lack of Vitamin D Could Spell Danger for Frail Seniors

Seniors must ensure they are getting enough vitamin DNot maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D can increase the risk of death from all causes by 30 percent in frail, older adults, according to a newly published analysis. To reach this conclusion, a research team led by a nutritional epidemiologist at Oregon State University examined data on 4,300 seniors older than age 60 who were included in a government health and nutrition survey. On the basis of their findings, the researchers suggested that older adults be screened for vitamin D and spend more active time in the sun in order to stock up on “D”. The researchers defined frailty as a decrease in physical functioning characterized by at least three of these changes: muscle weakness, slow walking, exhaustion, low physical activity and unintentional weight loss. Those with one or two of those five changes are considered “pre-frail,” The researchers said that the nature of their review did not allow them to determine if low vitamin D contributed to frailty or whether frail individuals become deficient in “D” because of health problems. The study was published online on June 13, 2012 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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