Cobalamin level is related to self-reported and clinically rated mood and to syndromal depression in bereaved HIV-1+ and HIV-1- homosexual men

Teri T. Baldewicz, Karl Goodkin, Nancy T. Blaney, Gail Shor-Posner, Mahendra Kumar, Frances L. Wilkie, Marianna K. Baum, Carl Eisdorfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: An examination of the relationship of plasma cobalamin (vitamin B12) level to overall psychological distress, specific mood states, and major depressive disorder was conducted in 159 bereaved men (90 HIV-1+ and 69 HIV-1-). Methods: The relationship of a continuous measure of cobalamin level to psychological distress was examined, while controlling for HIV-1 serostatus, life stressors, social support, and coping styles. Results: Of this sample, 23.9% were either overtly or marginally cobalamin deficient; however, the deficiency rate was not significantly different by HIV-1 serostatus. Cobalamin level was inversely related to self-reported overall distress level and specifically to depression, anxiety, and confusion subscale scores, as well as to clinically rated depressed and anxious mood. Lower plasma cobalamin levels also were associated with the presence of symptoms consistent with major depressive disorder. Conclusion: These findings suggest that cobalamin level may be physiologically related to depressed and anxious mood level, as well as to syndromal depression. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Anxiety
  • Cobalamin
  • Depression
  • Distress
  • HIV-1 infection
  • Vitamin B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)


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