Prevalence and Predictors of Subclinical Micronutrient Deficiency in German Older Adults: Results from the Population-Based KORA-Age Study
Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Institute of Epidemiology II, Ingolstädter Landtraße 1, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany
German Heart Centre Munich, Technical University of Munich, Lazarettstraße 36, 80636 Munich, Germany
DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research), Partner Site Munich Heart Alliance, 80802 Munich, Germany
Ulm Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine II—Cardiology, University Hospital Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 23, 89081 Ulm, Germany
Central Hospital of Augsburg, MONICA/KORA Myocardial Infarction Registry, Stenglinstraße 2, 86156 Augsburg, Germany
Institute for Medical Information Processing, Biometrics and Epidemiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Marchioninistraße 15, 81377 Munich, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2017, 9(12), 1276; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9121276
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Ageing)
Subclinical micronutrient deficiency in older adults is associated with chronic age-related diseases and adverse functional outcomes. In Germany, the older population is at risk of insufficient micronutrient intake, but representative studies on micronutrient status in old and very old adults are scarce. This study’s objectives were to estimate the prevalence of subclinical vitamin D, folate, vitamin B12 and iron deficiencies among older adults, aged 65 to 93, from the KORA-Age study in Augsburg, Germany (n = 1079), and to examine associated predictors, using multiple logistic regression. Serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), folate, vitamin B12, and iron were analyzed. The prevalence of subclinical vitamin D and vitamin B12 deficiencies were high, with 52.0% and 27.3% of individuals having low 25OHD (<50 nmol/L) and low vitamin B12 concentrations (<221 pmol/L), respectively. Furthermore, 11.0% had low iron (men <11.6 µmol/L, women <9.0 µmol/L) and 8.7% had low folate levels (<13.6 nmol/L). Common predictors associated with subclinical micronutrient deficiency included very old age, physical inactivity, frailty and no/irregular use of supplements. Subclinical micronutrient deficiency is a public health concern among KORA-Age participants, especially for vitamins D and B12. The predictors identified provide further rationale for screening high-risk subgroups and developing targeted public health interventions to tackle prevailing micronutrient inadequacies among older adults.