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Annual high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not affect mental well-being in older women

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Does a single annual vitamin D supplement have a beneficial effect on mental well-being, and are higher serum vitamin D levels associated with better mental well-being?


2317 women aged 70 or older with an identified risk factor for hip fracture (ie, maternal hip fracture, self-reported ‘faller’, fracture since age 50 and/or high risk of low vitamin D and osteoporosis. A group of 150 participants was selected for a substudy looking at the relationship between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and mental well-being. Exclusions: albumin-corrected calcium >2.65 mmol/l, vitamin D supplementation >400 IU/day, other bone health related parameters and inability to provide informed consent or data concerning falls/fractures.


Community setting, Melbourne, Australia; 2003–2008.


500 000 IU vitamin D3 annually during autumn/winter versus placebo. The dose was divided into 10 tablets and was taken orally on 1 day.


Mental well-being assessed using the General Mental Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), the 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12), the WHO Well-Being Index and Patient Global Impression–Improvement (PGI-I) scores. The GHQ-12 was administered to participants recruited after 2005 only and completed at …

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  • Sources of funding Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and the Government Department of Health and Ageing.


  • Competing interests None.

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