Anxiety (Panic)/DepressionHeart DiseaseStrokeVitamin D

Vitamin D and depression in people with cardiovascular disease

Depression is associated with cardiovascular disease.

Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center, in Murray, Utah, looked for an association between vitamin D deficiency and depression in these patients.

First, the details.

  • 7,358 older adults with coronary artery disease, heart attack, congestive heart failure, stroke, transient ischemic accident, atrial fibrillation, or peripheral vascular disease participated in the study.
  • They had no prior depression diagnosis.
  • Blood levels of  vitamin D were measured and divided into 4 groups: greater than 50 ng/mL (optimal), 31 to 50 (normal), 16 to 30 (low), and less than 16 (very low).
  • Depression was defined by the International Classification of Diseases.

And, the results.

  • When compared to optimal vitamin D levels, lower vitamin D levels were significantly associated with depression.
    • Winter (December-February) enhanced this association.
    • This association remained even after adjustment by parathyroid hormone levels.
  • Parathyroid hormone was significantly associated with depression, but not after adjusting for vitamin D levels.
  • Older age enhanced the vitamin D/depression relationship.

The bottom line?

In this group of patients, there was an association between low vitamin D levels and the risk of depression.

For perspective, Dr. John Cannell, Executive Director of the Vitamin D Council, has written a concise review of vitamin D and depression.

7/28/10 21:42 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.