Background/Aims: An inadequate vitamin status is associated with higher morbidity and frailty in the elderly and might be due to medication. This study aimed to evaluate the status of several vitamins in relation to regular intake of medication in this population. Methods: A total of102 non-institutionalized subjects aged 70–90 years were recruited. Plasma levels of vitamins A, D, E, K and C were determined by HPLC. The functional parameters of vitamins B1, B2 and B6, i.e. the activities of the erythrocyte enzymes transketolase, glutathione reductase and glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase were analyzed photometrically; plasma folate and vitamin B12 were determined by RIA. Results: The status of vitamins A, E and C was generally satisfactory. Eighty-eight percent and 42% of participants were deficient in vitamins D and K, respectively, as were 29% in B6; up to 10% were deficient in vitamins B1, B2, B12 and folate. A considerable percentage of participants was, however, at risk for vitamin deficiencies (vitamins B1, B6, B12 and folate: 20–30%; vitamin B2: 60%). Regular intake of maximally 2 drugs per day was not adversely related to the status of several vitamins; intake of ≧3 drugs per day was significantly negatively associated with the status of vitamins D, K, B6 and folate. Conclusion: Daily intake of ≧3 drugs was found to be adversely associated with the status of some vitamins in the elderly. Hence, the medication schedule and nutritional status of these subjects should be monitored closely to ensure that the daily micronutrient requirement is fulfilled.

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