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Associations between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in later life: evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)

de Oliveira, C; Hirani, V; Biddulph, JP; (2017) Associations between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in later life: evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). The Journals of Gerontology: Series A 10.1093/gerona/glx130. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: A possible role of vitamin D in depression has received considerable attention, especially given the significant disability, mortality, and healthcare costs associated to depression and the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. METHODS: We investigated the cross-sectional associations between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels and depressive symptoms (CES-D) in 5,607 older adults from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). RESULTS: Overall, there was a significant association between low 25OHD levels and elevated depressive symptoms (odds ratio [OR] = 1.58, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.20–2.07 for the lowest quartile; OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.15–1.83 for <30 nmol/L cut-off and OR = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.10–1.62 for the ≤50 nmol/L cut-off) after adjustment for a wide range of covariates of clinical significance. Fully adjusted models showed that women in the lowest (OR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.20–2.34) and second lowest (OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.20–2.35) quartiles of 25OHD as well as those with 25OHD levels <30 nmol/L (OR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.06–1.86) and ≤50 nmol/L (OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.07–1.72) were more likely to report elevated depressive symptoms. For men, however, this association only remained significant for those with 25OHD levels of <30 nmol/L (OR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.06–2.42) in the fully adjusted models. CONCLUSIONS: The independent and inverse association found between low 25OHD levels and elevated depressive symptoms suggests that vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for late-life depression, particularly among women. Whether our findings have any clinical meaning or not, additional data are needed from well-designed randomized controlled trials of vitamin D for the prevention and treatment of late-life depression.

Type: Article
Title: Associations between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in later life: evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glx130
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glx130
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: 25-hydroxyvitamin D, Depression, Older adults, Ageing
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1560844
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