Background: The association between circulating levels of vitamin D and the incidence of chronic diseases is known. The identification of vitamin D as a biomarker of physiological/pathological ageing could contribute to expanding current knowledge of its involvement in healthy ageing.
Methods: According to PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review was conducted on cohorts studying the role of 25OH-Vitamin D [25(OH)D] and 1,25(OH)2-Vitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] concentrations as biomarkers of healthy ageing. We consulted MedLine, Scopus, and Web of Science to search for studies on the association between vitamin D status in populations of originally healthy adults, and outcomes of longevity, illness, and physical and cognitive functionality. The quality of the studies was assessed using the Newcastle Ottawa scale.
Results: Twenty cohorts from 24 articles were selected for this review. Inverse associations were found between low 25(OH)D levels and all-cause mortality, respiratory and cardiovascular events, as well as markers relating to hip and non-vertebral fractures. Associations between 1,25(OH)2D and healthy ageing outcomes gave similar results, although of lower clinical significance.
Conclusions: This systematic review pinpoints peculiar aspects of vitamin D as a multidimensional predictor of ill health in the ageing process. Further well-designed controlled trials to investigate whether vitamin D supplement results in superior outcomes are warranted in the future.
Keywords: cohorts; healthy ageing; vitamin D.