Juan C. Celedón, MD, DrPH, ATSF Niels K. Jerne Professor of Pediatrics Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Human Genetics University of Pittsburgh Division Chief, Pulmonary Medicine UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Does Vitamin D Help Prevent Asthma Attacks?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Juan C. Celedón, MD, DrPH, ATSF Niels K. Jerne Professor of Pediatrics Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Human Genetics University of Pittsburgh Division Chief, Pulmonary Medicine UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Dr. Celedón

Juan C. Celedón, MD, DrPH, ATSF
Niels K. Jerne Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Human Genetics
University of Pittsburgh
Division Chief, Pulmonary Medicine
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Findings from observational studies suggested that vitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml are associated with worse asthma and severe asthma attacks. Based on those results, we conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of vitamin D3 supplementation to prevent severe asthma attacks in 192 high-risk children with asthma aged 6 to 16 years who had moderately low vitamin D levels and were taking low-dose inhaled steroids.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 

Response: Among children with persistent asthma and moderately low vitamin D levels (below 30 ng/ml but higher than 13 ng/ml), vitamin D3 supplementation at 4,000 IU per day did not significantly prolong the time to a severe asthma attack or reduce their reliance on inhaled steroids.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: Most children with asthma in the United States have vitamin D levels that are at or above 20 ng/ml. Our results do not support routine testing of vitamin D levels in all children with asthma. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response:  Future clinical trials should determine whether vitamin D3 supplementation reduces the risk of severe asthma attacks in children with asthma and very low vitamin D levels.

Any disclosures? The Vitamin D Kids Asthma Study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The vitamin D and placebo capsules provided to participants were supplied by Pharmavite, and GlaxoSmithKline provided steroid inhalers. Neither company had a role in the design, implementation, or data analysis for the study. Dr. Celedon has received a steroid inhaler from Merck for another, unrelated study. Conflicts of interest for other authors are disclosed in the published article for the study. 

Citation:

Forno E, Bacharier LB, Phipatanakul W, et al. Effect of Vitamin D3 Supplementation on Severe Asthma Exacerbations in Children With Asthma and Low Vitamin D LevelsThe VDKA Randomized Clinical TrialJAMA. 2020;324(8):752–760. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.12384

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Aug 28, 2020 @ 2:32 pm

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