• The Association Between Factors Related to Vitamin D and Depression in Future Pharmacists

      Campbell, Ashley; Slack, Marion; Isemede, Tosan; Frent, Adina; Zehri, Sumaiyya; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Specific Aims: To determine whether there is a relationship between factors related to vitamin D and depression in pharmacy students. Methods: A questionnaire was administered to subjects that included questions regarding history of vitamin D levels, diet, supplementation, sun exposure, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and demographic information. Students were classified as adequate or inadequate in vitamin D. Based on PHQ-9 scores, subjects were placed into different severity categories of depression. Chi-square test was performed to determine whether inadequate vitamin D levels were associated with depression. Main Results: The questionnaire was completed by 218 subjects; 96 males and 122 females (71.6% were ≤26 years old). Approximately 74% of subjects failed to meet the RDA recommendation of 600 units of vitamin D per day through diet and/or supplementation. The average amount of vitamin D consumed from diet alone by all subjects was 1125 ± 1644.15 units/week. There was a significant difference in the amount of vitamin D obtained from diet between the first-year students compared to the second-year students (p= 0.008). Although there was not a significant difference in depression (any severity) between those who had inadequate versus adequate vitamin D consumption (p= 0.56), 4 (6.6%) of first-year students were categorized as having severe depression whereas none of the second and third-year students fell into this category. Conclusions: Although results from this study did not demonstrate a relationship between inadequate vitamin D consumption and depressive symptoms, almost 30 students were classified as at least moderately-depressed, suggesting the possible need for further interventions.