November 8, 2004
Low Folate Levels Linked to Depression DAVIS, Calif.--Scientists claim plasma folate concentrations are associated with depressive symptoms in elderly Latina women despite folic acid fortification, according to a study published in the October issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (80, 4:1024-1028, 2004) (www.ajcn.org). In a cross-sectional logistic regression analysis of data from the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging (SALSA), researchers studied 883 elderly Latina women, aged over 60 years, to investigate whether low folate status was a determinant of depressive symptoms. A control group of 627 men also was studied. Odds ratios (ORs) were ascertained for elevated depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) among tertiles of plasma folate. Depressive symptoms also were assessed by using the CES-D. Plasma folate concentrations were determined by radioassay. The study found prevalence of folate deficiency in the SALSA population was less than 1 percent. In addition, the adjusted OR for high CES-D score in women in the lowest tertile of folate was found to be significantly different from that in women in the highest tertile of folate. In the control group, no significant association between folate tertile and high CES-D score was observed for men.The scientists concluded despite folic acid fortification, low folate status is associated with depressive symptoms in elderly Latina women, but not in men.
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