HealthDay News — Supplementation with vitamin D is associated with a reduced risk for suicide and intentional self-harm among U.S. Veterans, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in PLOS ONE.
Jill E. Lavigne, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Jason B. Gibbons, from the Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention in Canandaigua, New York, conducted a retrospective cohort study of U.S. Veterans supplemented with vitamin D to examine the association with suicide attempts and intentional self-harm. Veterans with any vitamin D3 or vitamin D2 fill between 2010 and 2018 were matched to untreated control veterans in a 1:1 ratio.
The researchers found that vitamin D3 and vitamin D2 supplementation was associated with a reduced risk for suicide and self-harm (hazard ratios, 0.552 and 0.512 for vitamin D3 and vitamin D2, respectively). Compared with controls, supplemented Black veterans and veterans with 0 to 19 ng/mL vitamin D serum levels had a significantly lower risk (hazard ratios, 0.362 and 0.359, respectively). Greater risk reductions were seen for supplementation with higher vitamin D doses than lower doses (log average dosage hazard ratio, 0.837).
“As a relatively safe, easily accessible, and affordable medication, supplementation with vitamin D in the VA may hold promise if confirmed in clinical trials to prevent suicide attempts and suicide,” the authors write.