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Lack of vitamin D could cause depression in the elderly

Lack of vitamin D could cause depression in the elderly
7th May 2008

A lack of vitamin D could lead to depression among elderly individuals, it has emerged.

Research conducted at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam showed that of 1,282 elderly individuals studied some 26 had major depression, while a further 169 were diagnosed as being depressed on a minor scale.

In those individual found to be suffering from depression, vitamin D levels are approximately 14 per cent lower.

Vitamin D deficiencies can be prompted by lack of sun exposure due to decreased outdoor activity – which is why the problem is pertinent to elderly people who may find they are spending more time indoors.

Full details of the study are outlined in the Archives of Psychiatry.

This follows news from the Lewin Group that increased levels of vitamin D and calcium can help reduce the number of hip fractures suffered by older patients.

According to the group, 1,200 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D per day would reduce bone loss and hip fractures among the elderly and result in thousands of fewer hospitalisations.