Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Hypovitaminosis d: a contributor to psychiatric disorders in elderly?

  • Author(s): Ford, Jennifer;
  • Hategan, Ana;
  • Bourgeois, James A;
  • Tisi, Daniel K
  • et al.

Published Web Location


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.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View