Relationship between Vitamin D and Mental
Health among Dental Students in Saudi Arabia:
A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Study
Dr. S Karthiga Kannan,
Professor, Department of Dental Education, College of Dentistry, Majmaah University, Al Majmaah-11952, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction: Vitamin D is a unique neuro-steroid hormone, which has significant effects on mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Aim: To determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, depression, and anxiety among University Dental students.
Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out during the academic year 2018 January to March using a simple, randomised sampling method. Hundred students at different academic levels and grades from College of Dentistry, Majmaah University in Saudi Arabia were a part of the study. Blood samples were collected to record 25- hydroxyvitamin D 25(OH)D levels. A validated Arabic Behaviour Rating Scales was used to measure depression and anxiety. The Grade Point Average (GPA) score of each student was also recorded.
Results: Vitamin D deficiency was prevalent in 89% of the students, with a mean value of 10.24 ng/mL. Anxiety levels were observed in 62% of the students and the anxiety levels ranged between 29% (moderate) and 33% (severe). Vitamin D deficiency was found to be positively correlated with anxiety (r=0.459 with p=0.001) and GPA scores (r=0.282 with p-0.004) although no significant correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and depression was observed (r=0.173, p-0.07).
Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency showed significant correlation with anxiety and GPA scores, but no correlation with depression among the students of Majmaah University (dental faculty).