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Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D predicts cognitive performance in adults

Authors Darwish H, Zeinoun P, Ghusn H, Khoury B, Tamim H, Khoury S

Received 20 April 2015

Accepted for publication 2 July 2015

Published 25 August 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 2217—2223


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Prof. Dr. Roumen Kirov

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Hala Darwish,1 Pia Zeinoun,2 Husam Ghusn,3,4 Brigitte Khoury,2 Hani Tamim,5 Samia J Khoury6

1Hariri School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; 2Psychiatry Department, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; 3Internal Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; 4Geriatrics Department, Ain Wazein Hospital, El Chouf, Lebanon; 5Clinical Research Institute, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; 6Neurology Department, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

Background: Vitamin D is an endogenous hormone known to regulate calcium levels in the body and plays a role in cognitive performance. Studies have shown an association between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairment in older adults. Lebanon has a high 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) deficiency prevalence across all age groups.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we explored the cognitive performance and serum 25(OH)D levels using an electrochemoluminescent immunoassay in 254 older (>60 years) as well as younger (30–60 years) adults. Subjects’ characteristics, including age, years of education, wearing of veil, alcohol consumption, smoking, and physical exercise, were collected. Participants were screened for depression prior to cognitive screening using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Arabic version. Visuospatial memory was tested using the Rey Complex Figure Test and Recognition Trial, and speed of processing was assessed using the Symbol Digit Modalities test.
Results: Pearson’s correlation and stepwise linear regression analyses showed that a low vitamin D level was associated with greater risk of cognitive impairment in older as well as younger adults.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that correction of vitamin D needs to be explored as an intervention to prevent cognitive impairment. Prospective longitudinal studies are needed to ascertain the effect of such interventions.

Keywords: cognitive function, aging, neuro-psychological function

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