Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: systematic review and meta-analysis

Br J Psychiatry. 2013 Feb;202:100-7. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.106666.

Abstract

Background: There is conflicting evidence about the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and depression, and a systematic assessment of the literature has not been available.

Aims: To determine the relationship, if any, between vitamin D deficiency and depression.

Method: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies and randomised controlled trials was conducted.

Results: One case-control study, ten cross-sectional studies and three cohort studies with a total of 31 424 participants were analysed. Lower vitamin D levels were found in people with depression compared with controls (SMD = 0.60, 95% CI 0.23-0.97) and there was an increased odds ratio of depression for the lowest v. highest vitamin D categories in the cross-sectional studies (OR = 1.31, 95% CI 1.0-1.71). The cohort studies showed a significantly increased hazard ratio of depression for the lowest v. highest vitamin D categories (HR = 2.21, 95% CI 1.40-3.49).

Conclusions: Our analyses are consistent with the hypothesis that low vitamin D concentration is associated with depression, and highlight the need for randomised controlled trials of vitamin D for the prevention and treatment of depression to determine whether this association is causal.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Depressive Disorder / complications
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*