A recent study has found that older adults deficient in vitamin D were twice as likely to report a respiratory disease as those with the highest levels.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society using data from the 2005 Health Survey of England and found that those with severely deficient vitamin D levels, less than 35 nmol/L, had more than twice the risk of respiratory disease when compared to those in the highest vitamin D quartile, greater than 64 nmol/L, after adjustments for covariates. The study concluded: low serum 25(OH)D concentrations are associated with respiratory disease. Ensuring adequate 25(OH)D levels is of public health importance for older populations living in northern latitudes and may be an effective way to prevent concurrent respiratory infections and related complications in older people.
There are biologically plausible reasons why serum 25(OH)D may be associated with respiratory health, the study’s author Dr. Hirani reports, as inadequate vitamin D concentrations can impair the response to respiratory virus infection in the lungs.
This is not the first study to report an association between lower vitamin D levels and a higher risk of respiratory disease. A study published in 2010 by researchers from Yale University found that people who had vitamin D levels greater than 95 nmol/L (38 ng/ml) were associated with lower risk of developing acute respiratory tract infections.
You can read more about Vitamin D on the NHS Choices website.
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