Home Medizin Nährstoffe wie Vitamin B12 und Vitamin D spielen möglicherweise eine Rolle beim Risiko einer Multimorbidität

Nährstoffe wie Vitamin B12 und Vitamin D spielen möglicherweise eine Rolle beim Risiko einer Multimorbidität

von NFI Redaktion

In a recent study published in BMC Public Health, researchers examined potential connections between nutrient intake and multimorbidities.

Study: Nutrient Intake and Multimorbidity Risk: A Prospective Cohort Study with 25,389 Women. Image credit: Saowanee K/Shutterstock.com
Study: Nutrient Intake and Multimorbidity Risk: A Prospective Cohort Study with 25,389 Women. Image credit: Saowanee K/Shutterstock.com


Multimorbidity, the presence of multiple chronic diseases, is a global health issue, especially in older individuals. It increases the risk of premature mortality, hospitalizations, loss of physical function, depression, polypharmacy, and a decline in quality of life, leading to a significant burden on healthcare systems.

Nutritional variables play a critical role in preventing multimorbidity. Unhealthy eating habits like binge eating and excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk. In the Netherlands, individuals with cardiometabolic multimorbidity consume more meat and snacks. Consuming fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce the risk. Mediterranean diets and increased intake of calcium and potassium are associated with reduced cardiometabolic multimorbidity. Lutein and zeaxanthin are potentially beneficial nutrients, but further studies are needed to find dietary therapies that reduce the burden of multimorbidity.

About the Study

In this prospective cohort study, researchers investigated the impact of food intake on multimorbidity risk.

The researchers analyzed data from the United Kingdom Women’s Cohort Study (UKWCS) of 25,389 women aged 35 to 69 years. The UKWCS dataset included food intake, anthropometric parameters, socioeconomic status, lifestyle habits, and health outcomes. Participants self-reported chronic baseline conditions such as hypertension, angina, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, gallstones, colorectal polyps, and cancer.

The team excluded non-England residents with multiple chronic conditions at baseline and missing covariate data. They used Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQs) from the United Kingdom for the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study to estimate daily energy and nutrient intake. They assessed multimorbidity using Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) scores linked electronically to the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) database until March 2019, using International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM) codes.

The researchers evaluated food intake according to McCance & Widdowson Food Composition guidelines (fifth edition) and the Food Standards Agency, adjusting total calorie intake based on nutrient density. They conducted Cox Proportional-Hazards modeling to estimate Hazard Ratios (HRs) for the relationships between regular nutrient intake and multimorbidity risk. They used multinomial logistic regressions to assess the relationship in sensitivity analysis and performed a stratified assessment considering 60 years as an age threshold. Study covariates included age, body mass index (BMI), education level, marital status, ethnicity, socioeconomic status (SES), and physical activity.


The average age of participants was 51 years, of whom 31% (n=7,799) developed multimorbidities over a 22-year median follow-up. Individuals with multimorbidity had higher BMI, lower education levels, higher SES status, and were more likely to be single or widowed compared to their peers.

Compared to the lowest quintile, the highest quintile of regular calorie and protein intake was associated with an 8.0% and 12% higher risk of multimorbidity (Hazard Ratio 1.1). Higher statistical quintiles of regular vitamin C consumption had a 10% lower risk of multimorbidity, while regular vitamin D consumption had a 10% increased risk of multimorbidity. The risk of multimorbidity was significantly higher in the highest quintile of vitamin B12 consumption compared to the lowest quintile (HR, 1.1). Higher quintiles of iron intake had a slightly lower risk of multimorbidity compared to the lowest quintile.

In sensitivity analysis, the significantly higher risks of multimorbidity linearly associated with higher statistical quintiles of vitamin B12 and D intake were not significant using multinomial logistic regressions. The team found evidence of age-modifying effects on vitamin B1 and iron intake associated with multimorbidity risk. For iron intake, the team observed an 11 to 13% lower risk of multimorbidity in individuals under 60 years compared to those over 60 years.


The study results highlighted a connection between nutrient intake and the risk of multimorbidity for the development of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis methods. The results suggest that higher intake of vitamin B12, vitamin D, protein, and energy may increase the risk of multimorbidity, while higher intake of vitamin C may decrease it. Iron intake was negatively associated with multimorbidity risk in women under 60 years, with no such association in women over 60 years.

The study shows that certain nutrients, particularly vitamin B12, vitamin D, protein, and energy, can influence the likelihood of multimorbidity. Researchers need to further investigate the optimal amount of nutrient intake for individuals with multimorbidity, and policymakers and clinical practitioners should consider personalized nutrition. More clinical studies are needed to determine if dietary treatments contribute to improving multimorbidity. Further studies are necessary to draw definitive conclusions.

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