Low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) among psychiatric out-patients in Sweden: relations with season, age, ethnic origin and psychiatric diagnosis

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Jul;121(1-2):467-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2010.03.013. Epub 2010 Mar 7.


In a chart review at a psychiatric out-patient department, latitude 59.3 degrees N, a sample of patients with tests of serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25-OHD) and plasma intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) was collected, together with demographic data and psychiatric diagnoses. During 19 months, 117 patients were included. Their median 25-OHD was 45 nmol/l; considerably lower than published reports on Swedish healthy populations. Only 14.5% had recommended levels (over 75). In 56.4%, 25-OHD was under 50 nmol/l, which is related to several unfavourable health outcomes. Seasonal variation of 25-OHD was blunted. Patients with ADHD had unexpectedly low iPTH levels. Middle East, South-East Asian or African ethnic origin, being a young male and having a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or schizophrenia predicted low 25-OHD levels. Hence, the diagnoses that have been hypothetically linked to developmental (prenatal) vitamin D deficiency, schizophrenia and autism, had the lowest 25-OHD levels in this adult sample, supporting the notion that vitamin D deficiency may not only be a predisposing developmental factor but also relate to the adult patients' psychiatric state. This is further supported by the considerable psychiatric improvement that coincided with vitamin D treatment in some of the patients whose deficiency was treated.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Quality Control
  • Seasons
  • Sweden
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / metabolism


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D