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Vitamin D status in patients with MS is negatively correlated with depression, but not with fatigue


Depressive symptoms and fatigue are frequent and disabling symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Depression and fatigue have been associated with a poor vitamin D status, and a poor vitamin D status is often found in MS. Knippenberg S, Bol Y, Damoiseaux J, Hupperts R, Smolders J. Acta Neurol Scand. 2010 Sep 29. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2010.01447.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors aim was to assess whether vitamin D status contributes to depressive symptoms and fatigue in MS. Patients with MS that participated in previous studies in which depression and fatigue were assessed and of whom serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels were available within a timeframe of less than one half-life of 25(OH)D were included. Depression and fatigue were assessed with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory.

Fifty-nine patients were included. Mean scores of fatigue and depression were 14.6 (SD 4.2) and 6.2 (SD 4.4), respectively. The mean vitamin D status was 62.3 nm (SD 27.8). Vitamin D status correlated negatively with depression (r=-0.326, P=0.006). No significant correlation was found between vitamin D status and fatigue. In a multiple regression model, vitamin D status was not a significant contributor to depression, after controlling for age Expanded Disability Status Scale score and fatigue (P=0.078). Alternatively, depression and fatigue did not contribute to vitamin D status. Discussion.

This study shows a negative correlation between vitamin D status and depressive symptoms in patients with MS. Although multiple confounders exist, it was observed that that vitamin D status might contribute to the presence of depressive symptoms in MS. Therefore, further studies on vitamin D in MS should include depressive symptoms as outcome measures to confirm these findings.

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