Independent Association of Vitamin D With Physical Function in People With Chronic Spinal Cord Injury

Published:January 21, 2016DOI:



      To explore the relation between vitamin D and physical function outcomes in people with spinal cord injury (SCI).


      Cross-sectional study.


      Rehabilitation institute.


      Consecutive patients (N=100; 72 men and 28 women) with chronic SCI admitted to a rehabilitation program.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Functional independence in activities of daily living (ADL) and leisure time physical activity (LTPA) were assessed as measures of physical function.


      Vitamin D deficiency (<20ng/mL) was found in 78 patients: they exhibited a significantly higher body mass index, lower functional independence in ADL, and were engaged in a significantly poorer weekly LTPA. At the linear multiple regression analysis, lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels showed significant independent associations with poorer functional independence in ADL (β=.59; 95% confidence interval, .36–.82; P<.0001) and with poorer LTPA (β=2.35; 95% confidence interval, 0.77–3.94; P=.004), after adjustment for other predictors of physical function outcomes selected by univariate analyses.


      In people with chronic SCI, a low vitamin D level represents an independent predictor of poor physical function.


      List of abbreviations:

      25(OH)D (25-hydroxyvitamin D), ADL (activities of daily living), ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association), BMI (body mass index), LTPA (leisure time physical activity), SCI (spinal cord injury), SCIM (Spinal Cord Independence Measure), VDR (vitamin D receptor)
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