Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Poorer Lung Function in Children

Vitamin D levels should be monitored in children with asthma treated with inhaled corticosteroids

FRIDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- For children with asthma treated with inhaled corticosteroids, vitamin D deficiency correlates with poorer lung function, compared to that of children with vitamin D sufficiency or insufficiency, according to a study published online July 12 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Ann Chen Wu, M.D., M.P.H., from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues measured 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in the serum of 1,024 children with persistent asthma enrolled in the Childhood Asthma Management Program. Children were classified according to their vitamin D levels as having sufficiency (>30 ng/mL), insufficiency (20 to 30 ng/mL), or deficiency (<20 ng/mL).

The researchers found that 65, 25, and 10 percent of children were vitamin D sufficient, insufficient, and deficient, respectively. For patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids, from enrollment to 12 months, there was an increase in pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second of 140 mL in the vitamin D deficient group, 330 mL in the vitamin D insufficient group, and 290 mL in the vitamin D sufficient group, in adjusted models.

"In conclusion, vitamin D sufficiency in patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids is associated with improved lung function in patients with mild to moderate persistent asthma," the authors write. "Monitoring vitamin D levels and/or supplementing with vitamin D could be considered during inhaled corticosteroid treatment for patients with asthma."

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