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Posttraumatic stress disorder is associated with reduced vitamin D levels and functional polymorphisms of the vitamin D binding-protein in a population-based sample


Objective: Low levels of vitamin D were found to be associated with different mental disorders. However, the role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of PTSD is unclear. In this study, we aimed at investigating whether PTSD is linked to reduced vitamin D levels and vitamin D deficiency. Moreover, we sought to investigate the role of the vitamin D-binding protein (also group-specific component or Gc) by testing if two functional polymorphisms (rs4588 and rs7041) were associated with vitamin D levels and PTSD.

Methods: Serum levels of total 25(OH)D were measured in a general-population sample of the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP-1). The number of traumatic events and status of PTSD were assessed using the PTSD module of the Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-IV. Study participants were genotyped for rs4588 and rs7041. Associations of 25(OH)D levels and the genotypes with PTSD were tested in subjects with at least one traumatic event (n = 1653).

Results: 25(OH)D levels were inversely (OR: 0.96; p = 0.044) and vitamin D deficiency was positively (OR = 2.02; p = 0.028) associated with PTSD. Both polymorphisms of the Gc were associated with 25(OH)D levels and PTSD: Carriers of the CC-genotype of rs4588 showed significantly higher 25(OH)D levels (ß = 0.179, p < 0.001) and lower odds for PTSD (OR = 0.35; p = 0.023) compared to the AA-genotype. Likewise, carriers of the TT-allele of rs7041 showed lower 25(OH)D levels (-0.122; p < 0.001) and increased odds for PTSD (OR = 2.80; p = 0.015) compared to the GG-genotype.

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Carolyn Ledowsky

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