Association Between Depressive Symptoms and Supplemental Intake of Calcium and Vitamin D in Older Adults

  • M. N. Wu
  • F. He
  • Q. R. Tang
  • J. Chen
  • X. Gu
  • Y. J. Zhai
  • F. D. Li
  • T. Zhang
  • X. Y. Wang
  • Junfen LinEmail author



We explored the associations between depressive symptoms and supplemental calcium and vitamin D intake in older adults.


This was a prospective cohort study.


8,527 older adults aged ≥60 years from Zhejiang Major Public Health Surveillance Program (ZPHS) without depressive symptoms at baseline survey.


Participants were divided into non-supplementation, calcium (Ca), vitamin D, and calcium plus vitamin D (CaD) groups based on their supplemental intake during the past year. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Binary logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the association between depressive symptoms and supplemental intake.


When compared to the non-supplementation group, the Ca group exhibited a significant odds ratio (OR) of 0.731 (95% CI: 0.552–0.967, P=0.028). After adjusting for age, sex, and Ca food sources, the OR was even smaller for the CaD group (OR: 0.326; 95% CI: 0.119–0.889, P=0.029). Additionally, our results indicated that taking Ca supplements ≥4 days/week yielded a significant OR of 0.690 (95% CI: 0.492–0.968) after full adjustment. Taking CaD supplements ≥4 days/week yielded a significant OR of 0.282 (95% CI: 0.089–0.898) after adjusting for age, sex, and Ca food sources.


Supplemental intake of Ca or CaD ≥4 days/week can decrease the risk of depressive symptoms in older adults, although CaD supplements may be more effective.

Key words

Calcium vitamin D older adults depressive symptoms 



We wish to thank the investigators from 7 selected counties for their investigation and data collection. This work was supported by the Zhejiang Provincial Public Welfare Technology Application Research Project of China (LGF19H260003) and the Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (LQ19H260001). The financial sponsors played no role in the study design/execution, analysis and interpretation of data, or writing of the manuscript.

Conflicts of interest: None declared.


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag International SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. N. Wu
    • 1
  • F. He
    • 1
  • Q. R. Tang
    • 2
  • J. Chen
    • 2
  • X. Gu
    • 1
  • Y. J. Zhai
    • 1
  • F. D. Li
    • 1
  • T. Zhang
    • 1
  • X. Y. Wang
    • 1
  • Junfen Lin
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and PreventionZhejiangChina
  2. 2.Haishu Center for Disease Control and PreventionNingbo, ZhejiangChina

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