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Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00167

Prevalence and Correlates of Vitamin D Deficiency in a Sample of 290 Inpatients with Mental Illness

 Alessandro Cuomo1*,  Giuseppe Maina2, Simone Bolognesi1,  Gianluca Rosso2, Bruno Beccarini Crescenzi1, Francesco Zanobini1, Arianna Goracci1, Edvige Facchi3, Ettore Favaretto4, Irene Baldini1, Aurora Santucci1 and  Andrea Fagiolini1
  • 1University of Siena, Italy
  • 2University of Turin, Italy
  • 3Azienda USL Toscana Sud Est, Italy
  • 4Ospedale di Bressanone, Italy

Vitamin D inadequacy or deficiency (VDID) has been reported in a high percentage of otherwise healthy individuals. Factors that may contribute to the high prevalence of VDID in people with mental disorders include diet low in vitamin D, poor sunlight exposure, decrease in cutaneous vitamin D synthesis, intake of certain medications, poor mobility, excessive alcohol intake and tobacco smoking. VDID has been correlated to a host of adverse conditions, including rickets, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, muscle diseases, depression, cognitive dysfunction, and even certain cancers.
The purpose of this study was to report the prevalence and correlates of vitamin D inadequacy in a sample of 290 psychiatric patients admitted to inpatient or day hospital treatment at the University of Siena Medical Center.
We retrospectively evaluated the prevalence of VDID in 290 psychiatric inpatients’ medical records during the year 2017 and evaluated the correlates of VDID in patients with mental illness
272 out of 290 patients (94%) showed VDID. Physical activity and regular diet were positively correlated with vitamin D levels whereas age, tobacco smoking, PTH, alkaline phosphatase levels were negatively correlated. Statistically significant differences were found among smokers and non-smokers in all study groups.
VDID was highly prevalent in our sample. In addition to vitamin D supplementation, psychosocial intervention able to promote and help sustain physical activity, appropriate diet, quitting smoking and sensible sun exposure to prevent and treat VDID in patients with mental health should be implemented, tested and introduced in our clinical practice.

Keywords: mood, psychiatric, mental, Inadequacy, deficiency, Vitamin D, Depressio, bipolar

Received: 17 Oct 2018; Accepted: 07 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Andrea Fiorillo, Department of Psychiatry, University of Campania "L. Vanvitelli", Italy

Reviewed by:

Giorgos K. Sakkas, University of St Mark and St John, United Kingdom
Dejan Stevanovic, Clinic for Neurology and Psychiatry for Children and Youth, Serbia
Giovanna Fico, Dipartimento di Salute Mentale e Fisica e Medicina Preventiva, Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Italy  

Copyright: © 2019 Cuomo, Maina, Bolognesi, Rosso, Beccarini Crescenzi, Zanobini, Goracci, Facchi, Favaretto, Baldini, Santucci and Fagiolini. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: MD. Alessandro Cuomo, University of Siena, Siena, 53100, Tuscany, Italy,