This study compared the B complex vitamin status at time of admission of 20 geriatric and 16 young adult non-alcoholic inpatients with major depression. Twenty-eight percent of all subjects were deficient in B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), and/or B12 (cobalamin), but none in B1 (thiamine) or folate. The geriatric sample had significantly higher serum folate levels. Psychotic depressives had lower B12 than did non-psychotic depressives. Poorer blood vitamin status was not associated with higher scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale or lower scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination in either age group. The data support the hypothesis that poorer status in certain B vitamins is present in major depression, but blood measures may not reflect central nervous system vitamin function or severity of affective syndromes as measured by the assays and scales in the present study.