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Vitamin D3 as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of depression in tuberculosis patients: a short-term pilot randomized double-blind controlled study

Authors Zhang L, Wang S, Zhu Y, Yang T

Received 8 August 2018

Accepted for publication 22 October 2018

Published 14 November 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 3103—3109


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yuping Ning

Li Zhang,1 Shanshan Wang,2 Yuyin Zhu,1 Tianchi Yang3

1Second Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Ningbo No 2 Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Psychology, Ningbo No 2 Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Tuberculosis Control, Ningbo Municipal Center for Disease Control & Prevention, Ningbo, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China

Objective: We aimed to evaluate whether high-dose cholecalciferol has beneficial effects on depression in pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients.
Methods: This pilot, randomized, and double-blind trial enrolled 123 recurrent PTB patients (aged ≥18 years) meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) criteria of major depressive disorder from four hospitals in Southeast China. Patients were randomly assigned to 8-week oral treatment with 100,000 IU/week cholecalciferol (Vit D group) or a matching placebo (control group). The primary outcome was treatment response, defined as a 50% reduction in symptoms and change in scores of the Chinese version of Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) from baseline to 8 weeks. Relative risks of depression were estimated using multivariable logistic regression.
Results: Finally, 120 patients were enrolled, including 56 test patients and 64 controls. After 8 weeks, the treatment response or BDI scores did not differ significantly between groups. Multivariate logistic regression showed that BDI scores were not significantly improved in the Vit D group after adjustment for age, time to first negative smear, or 25-hydroxyvitamin D level.
Conclusion: The use of high-dose Vit D3 supplementation may not be warranted for reducing depressive symptoms in the PTB population. Nevertheless, this finding should be validated by further large-scale studies according to different kinds of depression or Vit D receptor polymorphism genotype.

Keywords: vitamin D, major depressive disorders, depression, tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis

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