Vitamin D3 supplementation does not prolong the time to severe asthma exacerbation among children with persistent asthma and low vitamin D levels, according to a study published in the JAMA. Study investigators randomly assigned high-risk children with asthma (aged 6 to 16) taking low-dose inhaled corticosteroids and with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels less than 30 ng/mL to either 4,000 IU/day vitamin D3 or placebo (96 children in each group) and maintenance with fluticasone propionate. The time to a severe asthma exacerbation was examined as the primary outcome. The researchers found that 37.5% and 34.4% of participants in the vitamin D3 and placebo groups, respectively, had one or more severe exacerbations. Vitamin D3 supplementation did not significantly improve the time to a severe exacerbation compared with placebo, with a mean time to exacerbation of 240 and 253 days in the vitamin D3 and placebo groups, respectively. Compared with placebo, vitamin D3 supplementation did not significantly improve the time to a viral-induced severe exacerbation, the proportion of participants whose dose of inhaled corticosteroid was reduced, or the cumulative fluticasone dose. “Vitamin D3 supplementation did not lead to a significant improvement in the time to a severe asthma exacerbation,” the authors write. “Moreover, vitamin D supplementation had no significant beneficial effects on any of the trial’s secondary end points.”
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