Low Vitamin D Status and Suicide: A Case-Control Study of Active Duty Military Service Members

John C. Umhau, David T. George, Robert P. Heaney, Michael D. Lewis, Robert J. Ursano, Markus Heilig, Joseph R. Hibbeln, Melanie L. Schwandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Considering that epidemiological studies show that suicide rates in many countries are highest in the spring when vitamin D status is lowest, and that low vitamin D status can affect brain function, we sought to evaluate if a low level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] could be a predisposing factor for suicide. Method: We conducted a prospective, nested, case-control study using serum samples stored in the Department of Defense Serum Repository. Participants were previously deployed active duty US military personnel (2002-2008) who had a recent archived serum sample available for analysis. Vitamin D status was estimated by measuring 25(OH) D levels in serum samples drawn within 24 months of the suicide. Each verified suicide case (n = 495) was matched to a control (n = 495) by rank, age and sex. We calculated odds ratio of suicide associated with categorical levels (octiles) of 25(OH) D, adjusted by season of serum collection. Findings: More than 30% of all subjects had 25(OH)D values below 20 ng/mL. Although mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations did not differ between suicide cases and controls, risk estimates indicated that subjects in the lowest octile of season-adjusted 25(OH)D (

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere51543
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 4 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Low Vitamin D Status and Suicide: A Case-Control Study of Active Duty Military Service Members'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this