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(The FASEB Journal. 2007;21:837.20)
© 2007 FASEB
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837.20

Calcium and vitamin D intakes are positively associated with brain lesions in depressed and non-depressed elders

Martha E Payne1, John J B Anderson2 and David C Steffens3

1 Psychiatry, Duke University, 2200 West Main Street, Suite B210, Durham, NC, 27705,
2 Nutrition, The University of North Carolina, 2211 McGavran-Greenberg, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599,
3 Psychiatry, Duke University, DUMC Box 3903, Durham, NC, 27710

ABSTRACT

Objective: To examine the cross-sectional associations between calcium and vitamin D intakes and brain lesion volumes in those with and without late-life depression in an elderly cohort.

Methods: Calcium and vitamin D intakes were assessed in 232 elderly subjects (95 with depression, 137 without depression) using a Block 1998 food frequency questionnaire. Calcium, vitamin D, and kilocalorie intake were determined. Brain lesion volumes were calculated from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Subjects were age 60 or over.

Results: Calcium and vitamin D intakes were significantly positively correlated with brain lesion volume. In two separate multivariable models, controlling for age, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, group (depression/comparison), lesion load (high/low), and total kilocalories, these positive associations remained significant. In a multivariable model containing both calcium and vitamin D, only vitamin D remained significantly positively associated with lesion volume.

Conclusions: Calcium and vitamin D consumption were associated with brain lesions in elderly subjects. These associations may be due to a vascular calcification mechanism. Potential adverse effects of high intakes of calcium and vitamin D need to be elucidated.

This project was funded by the following NIMH grants: MH40159, MH54846, MH60451, and MH70027.





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