C-reactive protein, vitamin D deficiency, and slow gait speed

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2013 Sep;61(9):1574-9. doi: 10.1111/jgs.12403. Epub 2013 Aug 8.


Objectives: To evaluate the independent and joint effects of C-reactive protein (CRP) and 25-OH vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels on mobility disability in older persons.

Design: U.S. population-based cross-sectional study.

Setting: National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (2001-2002).

Participants: Individuals aged 50 and older (N = 1,826).

Measurements: C-reactive protein (mg/dL), with high CRP defined as ≥ 0.2 mg/dL, and 25(OH)D levels (ng/mL) operationalized as severe deficiency (<10 ng/mL), deficiency (10-19.9 ng/mL), insufficiency (20-29.9 ng/mL), and normal (≥ 30 ng/mL). Mobility disability was operationalized as gait speed of <0.8 m/s while completing a 20-foot walk (6.1 m).

Results: High CRP and low 25(OH)D levels were associated with slow gait speed. Individuals with high CRP levels and severe vitamin D deficiency were more likely to have slow gait speed than were those with neither risk factor (odds ratio = 3.54, 95% confidence interval = 1.42-8.84, P = .007). A significant positive association between vitamin D level and gait speed was found only in those with high CRP in stratified analyses. Whites and blacks showed similar findings as the overall population.

Conclusion: These findings provide evidence of a potential joint effect of vitamin D and CRP on gait speed, suggesting that evaluation and correction of vitamin D levels may be especially important in individuals with high CRP levels.

Keywords: C-reactive protein; gait speed; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology
  • Walking / physiology*


  • Vitamin D
  • C-Reactive Protein