A recent study out of Canada found an association between vitamin D levels and health-related quality of life among older Canadian residents.
Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is a measurement tool used by health organizations that assesses a person’s physical, mental, and social functioning.
The researchers in this study used a specific type of HRQOL, called EQ-5D-5L, which consists of questions pertaining to five different lifestyle domains: mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain and discomfort, and anxiety and depression. The person being assessed reports the level of concern they have for each of these domains, choosing from one of five options that range from “no problems” to “extreme problems.” The person administrating the test then creates a score from the answers given. A higher score means a greater quality of life.
The study, published in Quality of Life Research, involved a sample of 1,493 Canadians aged 50 years and over in Alberta.
The researchers analyzed previously recorded data on the group concerning their HRQOL and serum vitamin D levels.
They found that participants with higher vitamin D levels were significantly less likely to report problems with mobility, usual activities, and anxiety and depression. No significant association was found between vitamin D levels and self-care, and pain and discomfort.
When they combined the scores for all of the domains of the HRQOL, the researchers found that the overall score was positively associated with vitamin D levels, meaning that the HRQOL score increased as vitamin D levels increased.
The researchers call for intervention studies to strengthen the evidence of the potential benefits of vitamin D for increasing quality of life.