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18-08-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2016 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 3/2016

The effectiveness of a preventive health program and vitamin D status in improving health-related quality of life of older Canadians

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 3/2016
J. P. Ekwaru, A. Ohinmaa, Paul J. Veugelers



To assess the effectiveness of a preventive health program and vitamin D status in improving the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of older residents of Canada.


We analyzed baseline and follow-up data of 2119 volunteers of a community program that promotes healthy lifestyles and encourages vitamin D supplementation. We examined the program effect on each of the five dimensions of the EQ-5D-5L, HRQOL score, and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) using multivariable regression methods. We further examined the specific contribution of vitamin D status as quantified by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D).


Problems with mobility, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and depression/anxiety were reported less during follow-up compared to baseline. On average, participants’ HRQOL had improved by 0.018 units at 6 months and 0.025 units at 1 year of follow-up. Improvements in vitamin D status were independently associated with improvements in HRQOL and in QALYs. As per 25 nmol/L increase in 25(OH)D, there was a 0.002 increase in HRQOL and a 0.001 increase in QALYs.


This study documents the benefits of a real-world preventive health program to HRQOL. It is the first to reveal that improvements in vitamin D status parallel improvements in HRQOL among healthy community dwellers. The study further suggests that the preventive health program and supplementation with vitamin D are cost-effective interventions.

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