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Clin Nutr. 2013 Oct;32(5):758-64. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2013.01.006. Epub 2013 Jan 21.

Vitamin D and common mental disorders in mid-life: cross-sectional and prospective findings.

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Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCL Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK. Electronic address:



The relationship between vitamin D and common mental disorders (CMDs) remains unclear. We aimed to determine if behaviours affecting vitamin D concentrations differ between individuals with or without CMDs and evaluate, cross-sectionally and prospectively, the extent to which the association between 25(OH)D and CMDs are explained by these behaviours.


Data are from the 1958 British birth cohort (n = 7401). Behaviours were ascertained by questionnaire at age 45 years. CMDs (depression, anxiety, panic, phobia) were assessed using the Clinical Interview Schedule-Revised at 45 years and depression using Mental Health Inventory-5 at 50 years.


Participants with CMDs at 45 years differed from others on some but not all vitamin D related behaviours. There were inverse, cross-sectional associations at 45 years of 25(OH)D with depression and panic, which persisted after adjustment for vitamin D related behaviours (OR = 0.57, 95% CI: 0.40,0.81 and OR = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.40,0.81, respectively). Association between 25(OH)D and subsequent (50 years) risk of depression was non-linear (p = 0.01), with lower risk for participants with 25(OH)D between 50 and 85 nmol/l compared with those with lower or higher concentrations.


This study provides support for an association of low 25(OH)D concentrations with current and subsequent risk of depression in mid-adulthood.


1958 British birth cohort; 25(OH)D; 25-Hydroxyvitamin D; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; CIS-R; CMD; Common mental disorders; Depressive symptoms; MHI-5; Mental health; SEP; Vitamin D; clinical interview schedule revised; common mental disorder; mental health inventory −5; socioeconomic position

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