The association between low vitamin D levels and suicide attempts in adolescents

BACKGROUND: Psychiatric disorders are the most common cause of sui­cide attempts. Some studies have shown there is a relationship between low vitamin D levels and psychiatric disorders. In this study, we exam­ined the relationship between suicidal behavior and vitamin D levels in adolescents.

METHOD: This study included 215 patients who presented to the pediatric emergency department due to a suicide attempt (patient group) and 200 healthy individuals (control group). Demographic and clinical features of both groups were recorded, and serum vitamin D, calcium, and phospho­rus levels were measured. The groups were compared in terms of these factors. All data were analyzed using the SPSS 20.0 (SPSS Inc., Illinois, USA) software program.

RESULTS: The mean vitamin D level was 19.4 ± 10 ng/mL in the control group and 12.3 ± 6 ng/mL in the patient group (t = 8.8 and P = .01). The mean serum total calcium level was 9.9 ± 0.3 mg/dL in the control group and 9.4 ± 0.5 mg/dL in the patient group (P < .01).

CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D deficiency, which is a treatable condition, may be one of the causes of suicidal behavior in adolescents. Therefore, we believe that physicians who treat adolescents should consider vitamin D levels in routine examinations.

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