Vitamin D deficiency and psychotic features in mentally ill adolescents: A cross-sectional study

BMC Psychiatry, 05/10/2012

Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are both highly prevalent in adolescents with severe mental illness.


  • One hundred four adolescents presenting for acute mental health treatment over a 16-month period were assessed for vitamin D status and the relationship of 25-OH vitamin D levels to severity of illness, defined by presence of psychotic features.


  • Vitamin D deficiency (25-OH D levels <20 ng/ml) was present in 34%; vitamin D insufficiency (25-OH D levels 20-30 ng/ml) was present in 38%, with a remaining 28% in the normal range.
  • Adolescents with psychotic features had lower vitamin D levels (20.4 ng/ml vs. 24.7 ng/ml; p=0.04, 1 df).
  • The association for vitamin D deficiency and psychotic features was substantial (OR 3.5; 95% CI 1.4-8.9; p <0.009).
  • Race was independently associated with vitamin D deficiency and independently associated with psychosis for those who were Asian or biracial vs. white (OR=3.8; 95% CI 1.113.4; p<0.04).
  • Race was no longer associated with psychosis when the results were adjusted for vitamin D level.

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