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J Psychosom Res. 2000 Feb;48(2):177-85.

Cobalamin level is related to self-reported and clinically rated mood and to syndromal depression in bereaved HIV-1(+) and HIV-1(-) homosexual men.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, PO Box 3119, Durham, NC 27710, USA.



An examination of the relationship of plasma cobalamin (vitamin B(12)) level to overall psychological distress, specific mood states, and major depressive disorder was conducted in 159 bereaved men (90 HIV-1(+) and 69 HIV-1(-)).


The relationship of a continuous measure of cobalamin level to psychological distress was examined, while controlling for HIV-1 serostatus, life stressors, social support, and coping styles.


Of this sample, 23.9% were either overtly or marginally cobalamin deficient; however, the deficiency rate was not significantly different by HIV-1 serostatus. Cobalamin level was inversely related to self-reported overall distress level and specifically to depression, anxiety, and confusion subscale scores, as well as to clinically rated depressed and anxious mood. Lower plasma cobalamin levels also were associated with the presence of symptoms consistent with major depressive disorder.


These findings suggest that cobalamin level may be physiologically related to depressed and anxious mood level, as well as to syndromal depression.

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