Vitamin D and Depression: Is There a Relationship in Young Women?

Kwasky, Andrea, and Carla Groh

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship between vitamin D and depression exists in young women aged 18-24. There is a critical need to explore assessment strategies that increase our ability to more accurately assess for depression. Vitamin D may present such an opportunity. Methods: Data were collected from 139 female college-aged students (83 African American, 56 Caucasian). Participants completed a health questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and had their serum vitamin D (OH25D) levels drawn. Results: The correlation between vitamin D levels and depression was .005 (p=.951). Statistically significant differences between AA and Caucasian women were detected on Vitamin D levels (18.7ng/mL and 33.2 ng/mL, respectively) (t(87.1) = -7.09, p=.000), but not on BDI-II (8.8 and 10.2, respectively) (t(96.8) = -.972, p=.334). Implications: This study confirmed previous research that AAs have lower vitamin D levels than their Caucasian counterparts. Clinical implications of no relationship between vitamin D and depression will be explored since they are contrary to previous research findings with adult females. The cut-point for serum 25OHD levels will be examined with regard to the recent Institute of Medicine findings as a possible factor in our results and how we educate patients.