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Can Geriatr J. 2012 Sep;15(3):80-4. doi: 10.5770/cgj.15.39. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

Hypovitaminosis d: a contributor to psychiatric disorders in elderly?

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1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON;

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hypovitaminosis D is unrecognized and remarkably common in geriatric patients, with various clinical manifestations. The purpose of this study was to prospectively assess the vitamin D (VD) status in newly admitted psychogeriatric patients, and to study the correlation of VD status with indicators of calcium metabolism.

METHODS:

A valid VD sample, as measured by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD), was obtained from nine consecutive psycogeriatric inpatients (66% women), during a one-month period in 2011. The Research Ethics Boards at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton approved this project.

RESULTS:

All participants showed VD inadequacy (defined as 25-OHD ≤ 75 nmol/L) with a mean level of serum 25-OHD of 45.5 ± 14.6 (range 28.5-73.4) nmol/L. None of the patients in the sample met criteria for VD deficiency (currently defined by expert consensus as 25-OHD < 25 nmol/L). Mean serum VD levels were lower in females (38.8 ± 9.8 nmol/L) than in males (59.0 ± 14.3 nmol/L), p = .03. Magnesium and PTH were both higher in females (p = .03 and .02, respectively). Univariate linear regression analysis showed that VD levels were strongly negatively associated with magnesium (p = .001) and PTH (p = .02).

CONCLUSION:

Since research links VD deficiency to psychiatric conditions, high rates of insufficiency in this population is very common and routine supplements are strongly suggested, regardless of patients' living environment.

KEYWORDS:

acute inpatient; geriatric; psychiatric disorders; vitamin D; vitamin D insufficiency

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