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The association of folate or vitamin B12 intake with physical performance in elderly people

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The association of folate or vitamin B12 intake with physical performance in elderly people

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Samenvatting

Background: The percentage of elderly people (65 years and older) in the Netherlands has increased from 7.7% in 1950 to 15% in 2010. The expectation is that this percentage will be doubled to 26% in 2040. About one fifth of the elderly people have limitations in daily activities and it is important to examine how quality of life can be kept as high as possible, which might result into lowering healthcare costs. A diminished physical performance is associated with an elevated risk of mortality. Multiple studies showed that the homocysteine level is an indicator for the level of physical performance. Vitamin B12 and folate are necessary to convert homocysteine into methionine, a higher intake thus resulting in lowering the homocysteine level. Literature research had not resulted into finding studies which investigated the association of folate or vitamin B12 intake with physical performance, which makes this topic interesting. The aim of this research is to investigate the association of folate or vitamin B12 intake with physical performance in elderly people with an elevated homocysteine level in the Netherlands. Methods: In this study, 158 participants of the B-PROOF study with an age above 65 years and an elevated homocysteine level were included. Folate and vitamin B12 intake were measured with a validated 190-item Food Frequency Questionnaire. Physical performance was measured with the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), consisting of walking test, chair stand test, balance test and a sum score. Multiple regression analysis was used to assess the association of the single parts of physical performance and sum score with folate intake, vitamin B12 intake or homocysteine level. Results: After adjustment for covariates, there was an association observed of folate intake with the sum score of physical performance in men (p=0.045) and homocysteine level with walking test in men (p=0.02), but not in women. No associations were observed between folate intake and the single physical tests. No associations of vitamin B12 with the sum score and the single parts of physical performance were observed. There were also no associations observed of homocysteine level with chair stand test, balance test and sum score. Conclusion: Folate intake is positively associated with physical performance, based on a sum score of the walking test, chair stand test and balance test, in men but not in women. An increase of 400 μg folate should theoretically result in an increase of 3.2 points on the SPPB score in comparison to elderly with a mean intake of folate. The homocysteine level is positively associated with walking test in men, but this is not relevant. To walk one second faster over six meters, the homocysteine level should decrease with 9 μmol. There are no associations of vitamin B12 intake with the sum score and the single parts of physical performance, of folate intake with the single parts of physical performance and homocysteine level with chair stand test, balance test and sum score.

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OrganisatieHogeschool van Amsterdam
InstituutBewegen, Sport en Voeding
Gepubliceerd in
Jaar2011
TypeBachelorscriptie
TaalEngels

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