Research Points to Risk of ADL Troubles from Low Vitamin D, Muscle Weakness

January 30, 2019

​Middle-aged and older individuals who display muscle weakness and/or have a combination of muscle weakness and low vitamin D levels run an increased risk of not being able to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, toileting, and dressing, according to a study in JAMDA, the journal of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

Losing the ability to perform ADLs often leads to admission into a skilled nursing or other long term or post-acute care setting, research authors said.

In “Combined Effect of Dynapenia (Muscle Weakness) and Low Vitamin D Status on Incident Disability,” researchers examined 4,630 community-dwelling adults aged 50 years and older (average age 66 years) without ADL disability at baseline.

Following a two-year study time frame, the authors found that older adults with muscle weakness only and those with lower serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D had higher incidence of ADL disability risk compared with non-dynapenic adults and those with normal vitamin D levels.