OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between serum vitamin D levels and depression in a large database of patients from the Cooper Clinic. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 12,594 participants seen at the Cooper Clinic from November 27, 2006, to October 4, 2010. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] was analyzed, and depression was defined as a Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) score of 10 or more. Those with and those without a history of depression represented 2 distinct populations with respect to CES-D scores; accordingly, they were analyzed separately. RESULTS: In the total sample, higher vitamin D levels were associated with a significantly decreased risk [odds ratio, 0.92 (95% confidence interval, 0.87-0.97)] of current depression based on CES-D scores. The finding was stronger in those with a prior history of depression [odds ratio, 0.90 (95% confidence interval, 0.82-0.98)] and not significant in those without a history of depression [odds ratio, 0.95 (95% confidence interval, 0.89-1.02)]. CONCLUSION: We found that low vitamin D levels are associated with depressive symptoms, especially in persons with a history of depression. These findings suggest that primary care patients with a history of depression may be an important target for assessment of vitamin D levels.
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