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Depression in pregnant blacks strongly associated to vitamin D levels – Nov 2012

Vitamin D nutritional status and antenatal depressive symptoms in African American women.

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2012 Nov;21(11):1189-95. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2012.3528. Epub 2012 Jul 23.
Cassidy-Bushrow AE, Peters RM, Johnson DA, Li J, Rao DS.
Department of Public Health Sciences, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI 48202, USA. acassid1 at hfhs.org

BACKGROUND: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with depression; however, no studies have examined the relationship of vitamin D and antenatal depression. Antenatal depression increases the risk of adverse birth outcomes and poorer postpartum maternal and infant health. African American women are at increased risk for vitamin D deficiency and antenatal depression. Thus, we examined if early pregnancy vitamin D nutrition (VDN) was associated with antenatal depressive symptoms among African American women in the second trimester of pregnancy.

METHODS: Women (n=178) were recruited from obstetrics clinics of a large health system. VDN was assessed by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD). Depression symptoms were measured with the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale; CES-D≥16 equates with criteria for clinical depression. Logistic regression was used to examine the association of log-transformed 25-OHD and elevated depression symptoms (CES-D≥16).

RESULTS: Mean 25-OHD was 13.4±8.4 ng/mL; most women (82.6%, n=147) were vitamin D inadequate or deficient (25-OHD<20 ng/mL). Mean CES-D was 15.2±10.7, and 74 (41.6%) women had a CES-D≥16, suggestive of clinical depression. A significant inverse relationship was found between log (25-OHD) and CES-D≥16 (odds ratio [OR] 0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.29-0.99, p=0.046).

For every 1-unit increase in log (25-OHD) (corresponding to ~2.72 ng/mL increase in 25-OHD), the odds of CES-D≥16 decreased by 46%

CONCLUSIONS: African American women with lower VDN exhibit increased depressive symptoms.
Research on vitamin D supplementation for reducing antenatal depressive symptoms is needed.

PMID: 22823176


Note by VitaminDWiki

Similar strong associations expected in other groups at high risk of being vitamin D deficient, such as

  • Pregnant with twins
  • Recent pregnancy (not enough time to restock vitamin D)
  • Obese
  • Indoors a lot for a variety of reasons, such as illness, institution
  • Elderly

See also VitaminDWiki

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