Low Vitamin D Linked to Poorer Outcomes in Lung Recipients

Vitamin D deficiency linked to increased rates of acute rejection, infection, death at one year

THURSDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- For lung transplant recipients, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) deficiency is associated with increased incidence of acute rejection and infection, and deficiency at one year after transplant is linked with increased mortality, according to a study published online March 5 in The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation.

To investigate the correlation between vitamin D levels and outcomes after lung transplant, Erin M. Lowery, M.D., from the Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., and colleagues reviewed data from a cohort of 102 lung transplant recipients. All participants had 25(OH)D levels drawn within 100 days before or after transplant.

The researchers found that, in the near-transplant period, 80 percent of lung transplant recipients were 25(OH)D deficient and 20 percent were not deficient. Compared with the non-deficient group, the deficient group experienced more frequent episodes of acute cellular rejection (mean, 1.27 versus 0.52), had a higher rejection rate (incident rate ratio [IRR], 2.43), and experienced more frequent infectious episodes (mean, 4.01 versus 2.71). Patients who remained deficient at one year post-transplant had a significantly higher mortality rate than those who were not 25(OH)D deficient (IRR, 4.79).

"We assert that there are multiple benefits to maintaining normal serum vitamin D levels in the lung transplant population, such as decreased frequency of acute rejection and infection and an overall survival benefit," the authors write.

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