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Psychiatry Res. 2012 Dec 30;200(2-3):349-53. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2012.04.040. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Serum folate and depressive symptoms among Japanese men and women: a cross-sectional and prospective study.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Clinical Research Center, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. nanri@ri.ncgm.go.jp


Although several studies have reported an association between blood folate concentrations and depressive symptoms, few studies have prospectively examined the association. This study aimed to investigate the cross-sectional and prospective associations between serum folate concentrations and depressive symptoms among Japanese. We analysed data among 545 subjects who participated in a health survey at the time of periodic check-up in 2009 for a cross-sectional association and among 272 subjects without depressive symptoms at baseline (in 2006) who responded to both baseline (2006) and follow-up (2009) surveys for prospective association. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale. In a cross-sectional analysis, serum folate concentrations were significantly associated with a decreased prevalence of depressive symptoms (CES-D scale of ≥16). Moreover, serum folate concentrations at baseline were significantly inversely associated with depressive symptoms after 3 years; the multivariate-adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of depressive symptoms for the lowest through highest tertile categories of serum folate concentrations were 1.00 (reference), 0.66 (0.29-1.52) and 0.40 (0.16-0.99) (P for trend=0.047). Our findings suggest that a higher serum folate may be associated with decreased risk of depressive symptoms in Japanese.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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