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Vitamin D deficiency increases death risk from pneumonia

Posted May 16 2011 12:00am

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” (Courtesy of EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS).

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