The British Journal of Psychiatry (2013) 202: 100-107
Rebecca E. S. Anglin,
Stephen D. Walter and
Sarah D. McDonald
Rebecca E. S. Anglin, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and Medicine, McMaster University; Zainab Samaan, MRCPsych, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University; Stephen D. Walter, PhD, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University; Sarah D. McDonald, MD, MSc, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Diagnostic Imaging and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Correspondence: Dr Rebecca Anglin, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, F413-1 Fontbonne Building, St Joseph’s Hospital, 50 Charlton Avenue E, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 2A6, Canada. Email: anglinr at mcmaster.ca
Background: There is conflicting evidence about the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and depression, and a systematic assessment of the literature has not been available.
Aims: To determine the relationship, if any, between vitamin D deficiency and depression.
Method: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies and randomised controlled trials was conducted.
- One case–control study,
- ten cross-sectional studies and
- three cohort studies
with a total of 31 424 participants were analysed.
Lower vitamin D levels were found in people with depression compared with controls (SMD = 0.60, 95% CI 0.23–0.97) and there was an increased odds ratio of depression for the lowest v. highest vitamin D categories in the cross-sectional studies (OR = 1.31, 95% CI 1.0–1.71).
The cohort studies showed a significantly increased hazard ratio of depression for the lowest v. highest vitamin D categories (HR = 2.21, 95% CI 1.40–3.49).
Conclusions ; Our analyses are consistent with the hypothesis that low vitamin D concentration is associated with depression, and highlight the need for randomised controlled trials of vitamin D for the prevention and treatment of depression to determine whether this association is causal.
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