Social vulnerability: The connection between psychiatric disorders and thiamine deficiency in pregnant women

Fernando Machado Vilhena Dias, Aline Sanches Oliveira, Cláudio S.Dias Júnior, Glaura C. Franco, Antônio L. Teixeira, Poliana Toledo Nunes, Patricia da Silva Oliveira, Angela Maria Ribeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The evaluation of thiamine and its derivative phosphate esters levels in pregnant women in rural communities can contribute not only for understanding the specific characteristics of this population regarding nutritional aspects, but also for clarifying the relations of psychiatric manifestations and a vitamin deficit. In the present work we assessed sociodemographic variables, psychiatric parameters and thiamine and its derivative in the whole blood of women in a rural, low-income community in Brazil. A case-control study was done. 94 women were divided in groups using the trimesters of pregnancy as a criterion: each trimester, 1st, 2nd and 3rd had 17, 37 and 38 women, respectively. A control group of non-pregnant women (n-39) was also included. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were assessed using the HAMA Scale and Beck Inventory, respectively. The thiamine and its phosphorylated derivatives concentrations were determined in whole blood samples using the HPLC method. The results suggest that physiological mechanisms linked to the metabolic pathways of thiamine may play a role in some neurobiological substrate involved in the regulation of emotional state. Thus, social vulnerability is identified as an important factor to be considered in the evaluation of the mental health of pregnant women living in rural communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113362
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Pregnant women
  • Psychiatric symptoms
  • Social vulnerability
  • Thiamine deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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