A new study published in the journal Respirology reveals that adult patients admitted to the hospital with pneumonia are more likely to die if they have vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D is known to be involved in the innate immune response to infection.
The team of researchers at Waikato Hospital and the Universities of Waikato and Otago, measured vitamin D in the blood samples of 112 adult patients admitted with community acquired pneumonia during the winter at the only acute-care hospital in Hamilton, New Zealand.
The researchers found that vitamin D deficiency was associated with higher mortality within the first 30 days after hospital admission for pneumonia. The association between vitamin D deficiency was not explained by patient age, sex, comorbidities, the severity of the systemic inflammatory response, or other known prognostic factors.
The authors conclude that "improved understanding of Vitamin D and its role in immunity may lead to better ways to prevent and/or treat pneumonia. We now need to investigate whether Vitamin D supplements could be a useful addition to pneumonia treatment and whether using supplements could help to prevent or reduce the severity of pneumonia among high-risk populations."
- Leong Leow, Talia Simpson, Ray Cursons, Noel Karalus, Robert J. Hancox. Vitamin D, innate immunity and outcomes in community acquired pneumonia. Respirology, 2011; 16 (4): 611 DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2011.01924.x
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