DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS AND VITAMIN B6 STATUS AMONG REPRODUCTIVE-AGED WOMEN IN THE NATIONAL HEALTH AND NUTRITION EXAMINATION SURVEY, 2005-2006
Joycelyn Faraj, Alayne Ronnenberg.
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA.
Women are 2-3 times more likely than men to experience depression. The metabolite of vitamin B6, pyridoxal-5â€™-phosphate (PLP) is a coenzyme in the tryptophan-serotonin pathway, and a lack of vitamin B6 may cause depression. We conducted a secondary data analysis to evaluate the association between depression symptoms and serum PLP in non-pregnant females ages 15 to 49 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2006. Depression scores were calculated based on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and categorized into no depression, mild, moderate, and moderate to severe depression (scores 0-4, 5-9, 10-14, and â‰¥15, respectively). To account for NHANESâ€™ complex survey sample, weighted measures were used for analysis of the 4,211 observations included. Twenty-six percent of women reported symptoms of depression, and a third had vitamin B6 deficiency (< 30 nmol/L). Vitamin B6-deficient women had higher depression scores (5.03 vs 2.89; p = 0.001), higher body mass index (30.1 vs 26.7 kg/m2; p < 0.001), elevated inflammation (c-reactive protein 0.71 vs 0.35 mg/dl; p < 0.001), lower serum vitamin D (51.1 vs 64.3 nmol/L; p < 0.001) and increased homocysteine (7.36 vs 6.73 Âµmol/L; p = 0.03) compared to women with normal B6 status. There was a significant positive linear trend among vitamin B6 deficiency and depression categories (p-trend < 0.001). Women who were moderately-to-severely depressed had 7 times the odds of being B6-deficient compared to women without depression (OR: 6.43, p = 0.02) after controlling for age, serum vitamin D, BMI, and inflammation. Shedding light on the potential role of vitamin B6 in this association may help develop adequate prevention and treatment strategies for depression.