Associations of Serum Albumin With Disability in Activities of Daily Living, Mobility and Objective Physical Functioning Regardless of Vitamin D: Cross-Sectional Findings From the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey

Xueqin Li, Xingqi Cao, Zhimin Ying, Jingyun Zhang, Xiaoyi Sun, Emiel O. Hoogendijk, Zuyun Liu

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Objective: To examine the associations of serum albumin, a nutrition indicator, with disability in activities of daily living (ADL), mobility, and objective physical functioning among Chinese older adults. Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional data of 2233 older adults (≥65 years) who participated in the 2011/2012 main survey of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) and the 2012 biomarker sub-study was used. Serum albumin was measured by immunoturbidimetric assay. Physical functioning included subjectively (ADL and mobility) and objectively measured disability (standing up from a chair, picking up a book from the floor, and turning around 360°). Multivariable logistic regression models were performed. Results: After adjusting for age and sex, compared with participants in the lowest quartile group of serum albumin, those in the highest quartile group had 45% lower odds of disability in ADL (odds ratio [OR]: 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.38, 0.80); 48% lower odds of disability in mobility (OR: 0.52; 95% CI: 0.38, 0.71); 46% lower odds of disability in standing up from a chair (OR: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.34, 0.85); and 37% lower odds of disability in picking up a book from the floor (OR: 0.63; 95% CI: 0.40, 0.97). We did not observe a statistically significant interaction effect between serum albumin and vitamin D on disability in physical functioning. Conclusion: Serum albumin level was associated with physical functioning among Chinese older adults, regardless of vitamin D level. The findings indicate that appropriate management of poor nutritional status, in particular low serum albumin levels, may contribute to maintaining physical functioning in older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Article number809499
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2022


  • activities of daily living
  • disability
  • mobility
  • objective physical functioning
  • older adult
  • serum albumin

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