Vitamin D Supplement No Benefit in Pediatric Persistent Asthma

No improvement seen compared with placebo in children with asthma and low vitamin D levels

TUESDAY, Aug. 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D3 supplementation does not prolong the time to severe asthma exacerbation among children with persistent asthma and low vitamin D levels, according to a study published in the Aug. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Erick Forno, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues randomly assigned high-risk children with asthma (aged 6 to 16 years) taking low-dose inhaled corticosteroids and with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels less than 30 ng/mL to either 4,000 IU/day vitamin D3 or placebo (96 children in each group) and maintenance with fluticasone propionate. The time to a severe asthma exacerbation was examined as the primary outcome.

The researchers found that 37.5 and 34.4 percent of participants in the vitamin D3 and placebo groups, respectively, had one or more severe exacerbations. Vitamin D3 supplementation did not significantly improve the time to a severe exacerbation compared with placebo, with a mean time to exacerbation of 240 and 253 days in the vitamin D3 and placebo groups, respectively. Compared with placebo, vitamin D3 supplementation did not significantly improve the time to a viral-induced severe exacerbation, the proportion of participants whose dose of inhaled corticosteroid was reduced, or the cumulative fluticasone dose.

"Vitamin D3 supplementation did not lead to a significant improvement in the time to a severe asthma exacerbation," the authors write. "Moreover, vitamin D3 supplementation had no significant beneficial effects on any of the trial's secondary end points."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry; Pharmavite provided the vitamin D and placebo capsules, and GlaxoSmithKline provided the Flovent.

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