The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 417–420

Walk on the sunny side of life — Epidemiology of hypovitaminosis D and mental health in elderly nursing home residents

  • V. Verhoeven
  • K. Vanpuyenbroeck
  • M. Lopez-Hartmann
  • J. Wens
  • R. Remmen
JNHA: Geriatric Science

DOI: 10.1007/s12603-011-0361-5

Cite this article as:
Verhoeven, V., Vanpuyenbroeck, K., Lopez-Hartmann, M. et al. J Nutr Health Aging (2012) 16: 417. doi:10.1007/s12603-011-0361-5

Abstract

Objectives

Old age is a well-known risk factor for both depression and hypovitaminosis D, and an association between both conditions has been postulated. We document the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in nursing home residents, and we examine the link with self-reported depressive symptoms and pharmacotherapy for depression.

Design

Cross- sectional. Setting: nursing homes in Antwerp, Belgium.

Participants

Healthy elderly (n=589), with a mean age of 84 years.

Measurements

We detected depressive symptoms by means of SF-36, a validated quality of life assessment; we registered the use of antidepressants and anxiolytics, and we measured serum 25(OH)D concentrations in all participants.

Results

Almost our entire study population appeared to be vit D deficient. Comparison of the most severely and least deficient subgroups showed a consistent tendency towards more depressive symptoms and more use of antidepressants in the group with the lowest vit D level.

Conclusion

Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to preventable vit D deficiency. The relevance of the association with depressive symptoms and the possibilities for treatment are critically reviewed in the discussion.

Key words

Vitamin D deficiencymental healthdepressive disorder

Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer Verlag France 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Verhoeven
    • 1
  • K. Vanpuyenbroeck
    • 1
  • M. Lopez-Hartmann
    • 1
  • J. Wens
    • 1
  • R. Remmen
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept of Primary and interdisciplinary careUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium