Mood disorders are characterized as a psychological disorder involving an elevation or depression of an individual’s mood. Mood disorders include depression, a mild form of bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and chronic mild depression, known as dysthymia.
Psychotic disorders are considered severe mental disorders which result in abnormal thinking and perceptions. Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that causes delusions and hallucinations.
Several studies have found a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and both mood and psychotic disorders. However, results regarding vitamin D deficiency and specific psychiatric diagnosis have been conflicting.
A recent cohort study conducted in Marseille, France aimed to determine if vitamin D deficiency severity is related to specific psychiatric diagnoses.
Researchers admitted 82 inpatients from the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux deMarseille with mood disorders and schizophrenia in the study. They retrospectively reviewed medical charts containing all clinical and biological assessments from the patients.
The researchers found that 37.8% of individuals were severely vitamin D deficient, which was defined as less than 5 ng/ml. Vitamin D deficiency was also significantly more severe in patients with mood disorders when compared to those who were schizophrenia (p = 0.004). This relationship remained significant after adjusting for common confounding variables (p = 0.007).
The researchers concluded,
“Patients with mood disorders (major depression, bipolar disorders and dysthymia) have more severe hypovitaminosis D than patients with schizophrenia, independently of season of measurement, phototype, body mass index and physical activity.”