Serum vitamin D concentrations in individuals over 80 years of age

Posted May 24, 2023

Due to the paucity of clinical and laboratory data on people over 80 years of age, a group from the INCT Hormona Center at Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) conducted a survey to better understand the musculoskeletal health of the oldest old, considered to have aged successfully.

According to the Center’s coordinator, Dr. Marise Lazaretti Castro, the study ‘Serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in individuals over 80 years old and their correlations with musculoskeletal and health parameters’ was cross-sectional and included a large cohort of oldest old created by the EPM-UNIFESP Division of Geriatrics. “This age group has become increasingly important owing to the improvements in life expectancy seen in recent decades, and therefore, we need to better understand it.”

The expert explains that the project was part of the doctoral dissertation of the student Mariana Z. Foroni, which resulted in two publications. “The first article was related to measurements of FGF-23, a hormone produced by bone cells and responsible for phosphorus homeostasis, in addition to being a potent inhibitor of the production of active vitamin D by the kidneys (calcitriol),” she says.

“In this publication, we defined standards for FGF-23 concentrations in this age group and observed high concentrations of this hormone, which were associated with decreased physical performance parameters and increased risk of falls,” she comments. The first publication can be read at:  

According to Dr Marise, the group then evaluated 25 hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in this population and found deficiency (< 20 ng/mL) in 56% of participants, with 13% having severe vitamin D deficiency (< 10 ng/mL). “These concentrations correlated directly with bone mineral density and inversely with PTH levels, suggesting a possible modifiable factor, by correcting the deficiency, which may lead to improved future outcomes,” she explains.

For the coordinator, the next steps will be to monitor the clinical course of this cohort and to look for survival markers and improved outcomes, in our case, those related to musculoskeletal health.

The article can be read in full at: