By Lilian Anekwe
Vitamin D deficiency in older people is associated with depression, independent of age, sex, social class, physical health status and season, according to UK researchers.
The study analysed data on 2,070 adults 65 years and older who took part in the 2005 Health Survey for England.
Almost 10% of the cohort had clinical vitamin D deficiency - defined as a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level less than 10 ng/mL - and 35% had clinical depression, as measured on the Geriatric Depression Scale.
The prevalence was 22.6% in those with 25(OH)D levels less than 30 ng/mL and 25.8% in those with levels less than 20 ng/mL. Milder states of vitamin D deficiency were not strongly associated with depression.
After adjustment for age, sex, social class, season, smoking status, body mass index and long-standing illness, the association with clinical vitamin D deficiency remained significant and independent with an odds ratio of 1.46.
Lead author Dr Rob Stewart, honorary consultant in liaison old age psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, said the results warranted a larger study and added: ‘Correcting the problem could be an effective public health measure to reduce depression prevalence in later life'.
Psychosom Med. 2010;72:608-612.
Vitamin D deficiency in older people is associated with depression Vitamin D deficiency in older people is associated with depression