The role that vitamin D plays in the cognitive and clinical characteristics of bipolar disorder (BD) is unclear. We examined differences in the levels and deficiency status of vitamin D in an Australian sample of BD patients compared to healthy controls; and determined the extent to which vitamin D is associated with clinical variables and cognitive function in the sample. 22 healthy controls and 55 stable outpatients with a diagnosis of BD and low-grade mood symptomatology provided a sample of blood and completed cognitive tests and clinical measures. Plasma concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (vitamin D) were assayed and used to segregate participants into subgroups with sufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D. Subgroups were then compared in terms of global cognition and a range of sociodemographic and clinical factors (number of past mood episodes, illness duration, seasonal mood pattern, mood symptom severity), while mean levels of vitamin D were compared between patients and controls. Although almost 27% of the current sample were vitamin D deficient, no significant differences in mean vitamin D levels or the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency were evident between BD patients and controls. Vitamin D was not associated with global cognition in either patients or controls, nor any of the clinical measures assessed in the study. In conclusion, we observed no difference in the vitamin D levels and deficiency status of an Australian sample of healthy individuals and BD patients with low grade mood symptomatology compared to controls. Clinical symptoms and global cognition also appear to be independent of vitamin D levels in BD.
Keywords: 25-hydroxyvitamin D; Global cognition; Illness duration; Mood disorders; Seasonal mood pattern.
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