Monday, May 23, 2011

Vitamin D lack and pneumonia up death risk

Vitamin D lack and pneumonia up death risk
United Press International


Adult patients lacking in vitamin D were more likely than others to die soon after being hospitalized with pneumonia, researchers in New Zealand say.

Researchers at Waikato Hospital, the University of Waikato and the University of 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 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, co-morbidities, the severity of the systemic inflammatory response or other known prognostic factors.

The study authors say "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," the study authors said in a statement.

The study was published in the journal Respirology.

Copyright United Press International 2011

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