Elaine Marieb College of Nursing Faculty Publication Series

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Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology


B vitamins have beneficial roles in mental health functional impairments; however, research on the role of B vitamins in depression among HIV-infected persons is limited. This study assessed the association between dietary B vitamin intake and depressive symptoms in a cohort of HIV-infected persons. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 314 HIV-infected persons (180 men and 134 women) aged 18 to 60 y residing in the Kathmandu, Nepal. The Beck Depression Inventory-I was used to measure depression, with a cutoff score of 20 or higher. Dietary intake was assessed using two nonconsecutive 24-h dietary recalls. The relationships between B vitamins and depressive symptoms were assessed using multiple logistic regression analysis. Twenty-six percent participants (men: 23%; women: 29%) were depressed. More than two thirds of participants’ B vitamins intake were below the estimated average requirements (EAR) level. Low intake of riboflavin was associated with an increased risk of depression in women but not in men. Multivariate OR (95% CI) for depression in the first, second, and third tertiles of riboflavin in total participants were 1 (reference), 0.87 (0.46–1.64), and 0.49 (0.24–0.98), respectively (p for trend = 0.048) and in women were 1 (reference), 0.94 (0.36–2.40), and 0.23 (0.07–0.77), respectively (p for trend = 0.020). No clear associations were seen between other B vitamins and depressive symptoms in either sex. Low intake of riboflavin was independently associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms in all participants and in HIV-infected women. Further prospective studies are warranted to confirm the role of vitamin B vitamins in depressive symptoms among HIV-infected persons.






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