Vitamin D status of psychiatric inpatients at a community teaching hospital in the Midwest.

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Nordic journal of psychiatry

MeSH Headings

Adult, Aged, Aging, Body Mass Index, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Hospitals, Teaching, Humans, Inpatients, Kansas, Male, Mental Disorders, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Vitamin D, Vitamin D Deficiency, Young Adult


BACKGROUND: Vitamin D deficiency is a re-emerging epidemic in North America. It is increasingly linked to the pathology of cognition and mental illness and is also common in psychiatric patients.

AIMS: This study was designed to determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among psychiatric inpatients in Kansas City, to explore the association between vitamin D status and clinical characteristics, and to identify the association of medical problems related to vitamin D deficiency in mental illness.

METHODS: In this descriptive study we recruited 52 psychiatric inpatients at a community teaching hospital in Kansas City between August and November 2013. A vitamin D-deficient state was defined as serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-(OH) D) level ≤ 20 ng/mL. In addition to descriptive statistics, the Student t-test and Pearson test were used in the study.

RESULTS: A total of 15 patients (28.8%) were classified as deficient, 20 patients (38.5%) had an insufficiency, 17 patients (32.7%) were categorized as sufficient. Interestingly, there was a statistically significant difference in 25-(OH) D levels between African Americans and Caucasians (t = -2.216, p = 0.03) but no significant relationship between 25-(OH) D level and gender, major psychiatric diagnoses, type 2 diabetes mellitus or obesity. There was also no correlation between 25-(OH) D level and age, body mass index or haemoglobin A1C.

CONCLUSIONS: Low 25-(OH) D level was found in a high percentage of psychiatric inpatients in Kansas City. Screening for vitamin D deficiency could be a routine work-up for psychiatric inpatients. Vitamin D supplement for African American inpatients with low vitamin D levels could be considered.



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