Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
John J. Nemecek
Vitamin D is essential to optimizing health; vitamin D deficiency (VDD) can increase risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and insulin resistance. VDD occurs when individuals do not receive sufficient oral intake or obtain adequate sun exposure. Previous researchers indicated there is a relationship between VDD and depression, while others have indicated there is no relationship. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between vitamin D levels and depression, and how this relationship might be moderated by an individual's demographic characteristics (gender, age, smoking status, or marital status). This study was a quantitative data analysis of archival data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The Health Belief Model was the theoretical framework. An ex-post facto exploratory analysis was used to test 2,623 adults located throughout the United States. Employing moderated multiple regression, a significant relationship was found between vitamin D levels and depression (p. < .001); however, the relationship was not moderated by demographic characteristics (gender, age, smoking status, or marital status). This study supports prior researchers who affirmed a correlation between vitamin D levels and depression. Given the definitive findings, practitioners should continue to recommend intake of vitamin D to individuals not meeting recommended daily dosages, but recommendations should not be based on gender, age, smoking status, or marital status. Understanding the connection between VDD and depression provides a basis on which to foster positive social change at the individual, family, organizational, and societal level.
Owens, Troy Jean-Luc, "Assessment of Vitamin D Levels and Depression Among Adults in the United States" (2015). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 362.