Pining for Vitamin D and Happiness
In the United States, patients make 1 billion visits to physicians’ offices annually. If the US Census counter is right, that equates to 3 office visits per American. The estimated cost of these visits is $600 billion annually.
Depression is an important contributor to health care utilization and costs. Health care costs are 2.6 times higher for patients with depression (vs those without). People suffering from depressive symptoms require more 2-3 times more informal caregiving. Even among adolescents, depression is associated with behaviors that increase demand on health care services.
Nutrition may be a factor, especially in northern climates coming out of winter. Higher serum 25(OH)D3 concentrations may protect against depression. The relative odds (OR) among those with the lowest (26.7 nmol/L) vs highest (68.1 nmol/L) quartile for serum 25(OH)D3 was 0.56. The average serum 25(OH)D3 concentration for the 5,371 persons living in Finland was 45.6 nmol/L.
Vitamin D status varies more seasonally with the lowest serum 25(OH)D3 concentrations being found in February (in the northern hemisphere). Lower vitamin D status is related to lower quality of life and self-rated health scores.
It is no wonder that people in northeastern continental America are pining for spring rains, flowers, and warm, sunny days.
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