The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 159–164 | Cite as

Serum Concentrations of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Depression in a General Middle-Aged to Elderly Population in Finland

  • M. Vidgren
  • J. K. Virtanen
  • T. Tolmunen
  • T. Nurmi
  • T.-P. Tuomainen
  • S. Voutilainen
  • Anu RuusunenEmail author



Low concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] have been postulated to associate with an increased prevalence of depression. As there are a limited number of publications on this issue, we examined the association between serum 25(OH)D and depression in a general middle-aged or older population.


A population-based cross-sectional study.

Setting and participants

A total of 1602 men and women from the population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) in Eastern Finland, aged 53-73 y in 1998-2001, were analysed.


Depressive symptoms were assessed with the DSM-III depression scale, and those individuals who had scores over 4 (range 0-12) or had reported undergoing current antidepressant therapy, were considered as suffering from depression. Associations were estimated in serum 25(OH)D tertiles using logistic regression.


Among the participants, 183 subjects (11.4%) were considered to have depression. The mean age of the subjects was 62.6 years (SD 6.4, range 53.4- 73.8 years). The mean serum 25(OH)D concentration was 43.8 nmol/L (SD 17.7, range 8.5-112.8 nmol/L), concentrations <50 nmol/L were observed in 65.0% of the subjects, and only 5.0% displayed concentrations ≥75 nmol/L. After multivariable adjustments, the odds ratios for having depression in the tertiles (from highest to the lowest) of serum 25(OH)D were 1, 1.35 (95 % CI: 0.87, 2.09) and 1.64 (95 % CI: 1.03, 2.59), P for trend=0.036.


These findings indicate that a lower concentration of serum 25(OH)D is associated with a higher prevalence of depression in an elderly general population.

Key words

Vitamin D 25-hydroxyvitamin D depression depressive symptoms 


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Vidgren
    • 1
  • J. K. Virtanen
    • 1
  • T. Tolmunen
    • 2
  • T. Nurmi
    • 1
  • T.-P. Tuomainen
    • 1
  • S. Voutilainen
    • 1
  • Anu Ruusunen
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Public Health and Clinical NutritionUniversity of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical MedicineUniversity of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryKuopio University HospitalKuopioFinland

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