The study objective is to investigate whether vitamin D is associated with the cognitive function of geriatric patients. This cross-sectional study involved 357 patients hospitalized in the geriatric ward who complained of memory problems (mean age: 82.3 years). The level of cognitive function was measured with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the clinical diagnosis of dementia was established according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) criteria. The serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D was measured with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The iterative Bayesian model averaging (BMA) procedure was applied to linear and logistic regression models in order to identify the best set of factors describing cognitive dysfunction and dementia, respectively. According to BMA, there is strong evidence that higher vitamin D levels, higher body mass index (BMI), and higher mobility function measured with the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test are independently associated with better cognitive performance and lower risk of dementia. Additionally, there is strong evidence that fewer years of education and lower vitamin B12 plasma levels independently describe worse cognitive performance. However, vitamin B12 levels higher than 800 pg/mL is negatively associated with the MMSE performance. Hypovitaminosis D in geriatric patients is an underrated marker of cognitive dysfunction and dementia.
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