Vitamin D levels inversely linked to depression in young people
Early adolescents with higher vitamin D levels at baseline appear to be at lower risk of depression, a study has found.
For the study, researchers looked at 1,607 young people (mean age 12.49 years, 60.5 percent boys) from the Chinese Early Adolescents Cohort, recruited from a middle school in Anhui Province and followed up annually from 2019 to 2021. Serum 25(OH)D levels were measured at two timepoints, once in 2019 and another in 2021. All participants completed questionnaires to determine the presence of depressive symptoms at each follow-up year.
Multivariable analysis showed that in the whole sample, higher serum 25(OH)D levels at baseline were associated with a lower risk of cumulative incident depression over a 2-year follow-up (adjusted relative risk [RR], 0.97, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.94–0.99) and increasing trajectory of depression symptoms (adjusted RR, 0.97, 95 percent CI, 0.95–0.99).
In contrast, vitamin D deficiency at baseline was associated with a higher likelihood of increasing trajectory of depression symptoms during the follow-up period (adjusted RR, 1.50, 95 percent CI, 1.10–2.05).
Meanwhile, remitted vitamin D deficiency was associated with twofold greater odds of having one dichotomous depression symptom during the follow-up (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.15, 95 percent CI, 1.15–4.01). This association was pronounced in boys.
Moreover, boys with baseline vitamin D deficiency or persistent vitamin D deficiency had increased odds of having two dichotomous depression symptoms (adjusted OR, 1.59, 95 percent CI, 1.04–2.44 and adjusted OR, 1.58, 95 percent CI, 1.02–2.60, respectively).
The present data support a potential beneficial effect of vitamin D supplementation for reducing depression risk in early adolescents.