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Suicide 2X more likely with low vitamin D (in military) – Jan 2013

Low Vitamin D Status and Suicide:
A Case-Control Study of Active Duty Military Service Members

Plos One Jan 2013
John C. Umhau umhau at jhu.edu, David T. George, Robert P. Heaney, Michael D. Lewis, Robert J. Ursano, Markus Heilig, Joseph R. Hibbeln equal contributor, Melanie L. Schwandt equal contributor,

Objective: Considering that epidemiological studies show that suicide rates in many countries are highest in the spring when vitamin D status is lowest, and that low vitamin D status can affect brain function, we sought to evaluate if a low level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] could be a predisposing factor for suicide.

Method: We conducted a prospective, nested, case-control study using serum samples stored in the Department of Defense Serum Repository.
were previously deployed active duty US military personnel (2002–2008) who had a recent archived serum sample available for analysis.
Vitamin D status was estimated by measuring 25(OH) D levels in serum samples drawn within 24 months of the suicide.
Each verified suicide case (n = 495) was matched to a control (n = 495) by rank, age and sex.
We calculated odds ratio of suicide associated with categorical levels (octiles) of 25(OH) D, adjusted by season of serum collection.

Findings: More than 30% of all subjects had 25(OH)D values below 20 ng/mL. Although mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations did not differ between suicide cases and controls, risk estimates indicated that subjects in the lowest octile of season-adjusted 25(OH)D (<15.5 ng/mL) had the highest risk of suicide, with subjects in the subsequent higher octiles showing approximately the same level of decreased risk (combined odds ratio compared to lowest octile = 0.49; 95% C.I.: 0.315–0.768).

Conclusions: Low vitamin D status is common in active duty service members.
The lowest 25(OH)D levels are associated with an increased risk for suicide.
Future studies could determine if additional sunlight exposure and vitamin D supplementation might reduce suicide by increasing 25(OH) D levels.

Received: September 18, 2012; Accepted: November 5, 2012; Published: January 4, 2013

This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose.
The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.


PDF is attached at the bottom of this page

Video on this study at the Examiner Jan 2013

See also VitaminDWiki

See also web

Note: Magnesium deficiency is also associated with low vitamin D and poor mental health

Magnesium and Mental Health  see  is.gd/VDMag

Suicide rates have increased around the world
  (while vitamin D has been decreasing)


Suicide has become the top cause of death for adults (15-49) around the world


Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
3015 Suicide Global Burden of Disease 2010.jpg admin 18 Sep, 2013 43.67 Kb 9323
3012 Global suicide rates.jpg admin 18 Sep, 2013 36.23 Kb 7613
2455 Suicide1.jpg admin 04 May, 2013 31.38 Kb 1843
1915 Military suicide.pdf admin 07 Jan, 2013 419.04 Kb 1044