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Br J Psychiatry. 2008 Apr;192(4):268-74. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.107.039511.

Predictive value of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels in late-life depression.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Depression Clinical Research Centre, Chonnam National University Medical School, Kwangju, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The role of folate, vitamin B(12) and homocysteine levels in depression is not clear.

AIMS:

To investigate cross-sectional and prospective associations between folate, B(12) and homocysteine levels and late-life depression.

METHOD:

A total of 732 Korean people aged 65 years or over were evaluated at baseline. Of the 631 persons who were not depressed, 521 (83%) were followed over a period of 2-3 years and incident depression was ascertained with the Geriatric Mental State schedule. Serum folate, serum vitamin B(12) and plasma homocysteine levels were assayed at both baseline and follow-up.

RESULTS:

Lower levels of folate and vitamin B(12) and higher homocysteine levels at baseline were associated with a higher risk of incident depression at follow-up. Incident depression was associated with a decline in vitamin B(12) and an increase in homocysteine levels over the follow-up period.

CONCLUSIONS:

Lower folate, lower vitamin B(12) and raised homocysteine levels may be risk factors for late-life depression.

Comment in

PMID:
18378986
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.107.039511
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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