Vitamin D and risk of neuroimaging abnormalities

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Abstract

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked with an increased risk of incident all-cause dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The aim of the current study was to explore the potential mechanisms underlying these associations by determining whether low vitamin D concentrations are associated with the development of incident cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative neuroimaging abnormalities. The population consisted of 1,658 participants aged ≥65 years from the US-based Cardiovascular Health Study who were free from prevalent cardiovascular disease, stroke and dementia at baseline in 1992-93. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry from blood samples collected at baseline. The first MRI scan was conducted between 1991-1994 and the second MRI scan was conducted between 1997-1999. Change in white matter grade, ventricular grade and presence of infarcts between MRI scan one and two were used to define neuroimaging abnormalities. During a mean follow-up of 5.0 years, serum 25(OH)D status was not significantly associated with the development of any neuroimaging abnormalities. Using logistic regression models, the multivariate adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for worsening white matter grade in participants who were severely 25(OH)D deficient (<25 nmol/L) and deficient (≥25-50 nmol/L) were 0.76 (0.35-1.66) and 1.09 (0.76-1.55) compared to participants with sufficient concentrations (≥50 nmol/L). The multivariate adjusted odds ratios for ventricular grade in participants who were severely 25(OH)D deficient and deficient were 0.49 (0.20-1.19) and 1.12 (0.79-1.59) compared to those sufficient. The multivariate adjusted odds ratios for incident infarcts in participants who were severely 25 (OH)D deficient and deficient were 1.95 (0.84-4.54) and 0.73 (0.47-1.95) compared to those sufficient. Overall, serum vitamin D concentrations could not be shown to be associated with the development of cerebrovascular or neurodegenerative neuroimaging abnormalities in Cardiovascular Health Study participants.

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Littlejohns, T. J., Kos, K., Henley, W. E., Lang, I. A., Annweiler, C., Beauchet, O., … Llewellyn, D. J. (2016). Vitamin D and risk of neuroimaging abnormalities. PLoS ONE, 11(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154896

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