The exact cause of psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder is unknown. That said, it's fast becoming clear through research that many of these conditions are caused by a combination of biological, genetic, psychological and environmental factors. But that's not all...
According to a new Dutch study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, a vitamin D deficiency is also linked to psychiatric disorders. Read on for the full story.
Dutch study proves a link between psychiatric disorders and vitamin D deficiency
A body of past research shows a link between schizophrenia in particular and vitamin D deficiency. This new study, which found a link between psychiatric disorders that go beyond schizophrenia and vitamin D deficiency builds on this research.
To reach their findings, the researchers conducted a study that examiend outpatients rather than hospitalised patients in order to find out if vitamin D deficiency was more common among patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder than the general Dutch population. They also wanted to determine if there was a significant difference in vitamin D levels between patients suffering from each of these three disorders.
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In total, the researchers looked at 118 patients with bipolar disorder and 202 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. While they found no significant difference between the vitamin D levels of patients suffering from each disorder, they did find a significant disparity between the psychiatric disorder patients and the general population.
“In this study, vitamin D deficiency was found to be 4.7 times more common in a population of 320 outpatients with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder compared with the Dutch general population,” the researchers wrote.
Researchers conclude that psychiatric disorder patients are at risk for vitamin D deficiency
The researchers concluded that patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder be considered “at risk” for vitamin D deficiency.
They also recommended that patients with these psychiatric disorders get their vitamin D levels measured once a year to prevent bone and muscle problems that are associated with low levels of this essential vitamin.
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