Hypovitaminosis D: A Contributor to Psychiatric Disorders in Elderly?
Keywords:vitamin D, vitamin D insufficiency, geriatric, acute inpatient, psychiatric disorders
Hypovitaminosis D is unrecognized and remarkably common in geriatric patients, with various clinical manifestations. The purpose of this study was to prospectively assess the vitamin D (VD) status in newly admitted psychogeriatric patients, and to study the correlation of VD status with indicators of calcium metabolism.
A valid VD sample, as measured by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD), was obtained from nine consecutive psycogeriatric inpatients (66% women), during a one-month period in 2011. The Research Ethics Boards at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton approved this project.
All participants showed VD inadequacy (defined as 25-OHD ≤ 75 nmol/L) with a mean level of serum 25-OHD of 45.5 ± 14.6 (range 28.5–73.4) nmol/L. None of the patients in the sample met criteria for VD deficiency (currently defined by expert consensus as 25-OHD < 25 nmol/L). Mean serum VD levels were lower in females (38.8 ± 9.8 nmol/L) than in males
(59.0 ± 14.3 nmol/L), p = .03. Magnesium and PTH were both higher in females (p = .03 and .02, respectively). Univariate linear regression analysis showed that VD levels were strongly negatively associated with magnesium (p = .001) and PTH (p = .02).
Since research links VD deficiency to psychiatric conditions, high rates of insufficiency in this population is very common and routine supplements are strongly suggested, regardless of patients’ living environment.
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