Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.47(2) > 1081328

J Nutr Health. 2014 Apr;47(2):113-123. Korean.
Published online April 30, 2014.
© 2014 The Korean Nutrition Society
Associations of serum 25(OH)D levels with depression and depressed condition in Korean adults: results from KNHANES 2008-2010
Sle Koo and Kyong Park
Department of Food & Nutrition, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 712-749, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-53-810-2879, Email:
Received November 19, 2013; Revised January 14, 2014; Accepted February 17, 2014.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Vitamin D has been known to play an important role in the central nervous system and brain functions in the human body, and cumulative evidence has shown that vitamin D deficiency might be linked with various mental health conditions. Epidemiologic studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with higher risk of depression in the US and European populations. However, limited information is available regarding the association between vitamin D status and depression in the Korean population. The objective of this study was to examine the associations between vitamin D levels and prevalence of depression.


We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using nationally representative data from the 2008-2010 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from which serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations were available. A total of 18,735 adults who had available demographic, dietary, and lifestyle information were included in our analysis. We defined "depression" with a diagnosis by a physician. "Depressed condition" was defined as having feelings of sadness or depression without diagnosis by a physician.


The prevalence of depression was 1.63% and 5.43% in Korean men and women, respectively; 12.5% of men and 26.1% of women were defined as the group having depressed conditions. In multivariate logistic regression models, no significant associations were observed between vitamin D status and prevalence of depression or depressed conditions in Korean men and women.


We found no association between vitamin D insufficiency and depression/depressed conditions in Korean adults. Future large prospective studies and randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm this relationship.

Keywords: depression; depressed condition; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; Korean adults


Table 1
Characteristics of subjects by depression status in men
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Table 2
Characteristics of subjects by depression status in women
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Table 3
Association between vitamin D status and depression by sex
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Table 4
Association between vitamin D status and depressed conditions by sex
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Table 5
Adjusted least-square means of serum 25(OH)D concentrations (ng/ml) by depression status and sex
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This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (NRF-2012R1A1A1009214).

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