Skip to main content
Original Communications

Plasma Retinol and Association with Socio-Demographic and Dietary Characteristics of Free-living Older Persons: the Bordeaux Sample of the Three-City Study

Published Online:

The objective was to describe retinol plasma concentration and its association with socio-demographic characteristics and dietary habits in French older persons. The study population consisted of 1664 subjects aged 65 + from Bordeaux (France), included in the Three-City cohort. Retinol plasma concentration was determined in fasting blood samples. Dietary assessment was performed by a food frequency questionnaire allowing estimation of weekly intake of dietary sources of vitamin A or provitamin A. The weekly number of glasses of alcohol was also recorded. Age, sex, marital status, educational and income levels, body-mass index (BMI), and smoking were registered. Cross-sectional analysis of the association between plasma retinol and socio-demographic characteristics and dietary habits was performed by multilinear regression. Mean plasma retinol was close to the homeostatically regulated concentration of 2.0 µmol/L but ranged from 0.35 to 6.77 µmol/L. It was higher in women and divorced or separated individuals, and increased with income but not with age or educational level. Plasma retinol was positively and independently associated with the frequency of offal consumption and to the number of glasses of alcohol consumed per week. These results allow targeting older individuals who are at risk of either excessive or deficient vitamin A status and who should benefit from dietary counseling.