Low vitamin D levels a risk factor for pneumonia

April 30, 2013

A University of Eastern Finland study showed that low serum vitamin D levels are a risk factor for pneumonia. The risk of contracting pneumonia was more than 2.5 times greater in subjects with the lowest vitamin D levels than in subjects with high vitamin D levels. The results were published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The follow-up study carried out by the UEF Institute of Public Health investigated the link between serum vitamin D3 and the risk of contracting pneumonia. The study involved 1,421 subjects living in the Kuopio region in Eastern Finland. The serum vitamin D3 levels of the subjects were measured from blood samples drawn in 1998–2001, and these data were compared against reported in hospital records in the same set of subjects in 1998–2009. The results showed that during the follow-up, subjects with serum vitamin D3 levels representing the lowest third were more than 2.5 times more likely to contract pneumonia than subjects with high levels. Furthermore, smoking constituted a significant risk factor for pneumonia. The risk of contracting pneumonia also grew by age, and was greater in men than women. At baseline, the mean serum D3 concentration of the study population was 43.5 nmol/l, and the mean age of the study population was 62.5 years.

Earlier research has shown that weakens the system and increases the risk of mild respiratory infections. This University of Eastern Finland study was the first one to establish that vitamin D deficiency also increases the risk of contracting pneumonia in the ageing general population. According to the researchers, this finding supports earlier observations on the diverse role of vitamin D in the body, and it also calls for further research on vitamin D deficiency as a public health issue. In northern latitudes, there is enough sun exposure to maintain sufficient vitamin D levels in summer, but not during the winter season, and vitamin D supplementation is often required. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D in Finland is 20 micrograms for those over 60 years of age.

Explore further: Vitamin D deficiency in pneumonia patients associated with increased mortality

Related Stories

Vitamin D deficiency in pneumonia patients associated with increased mortality

May 10, 2011
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 deficiency linked to Type 1 diabetes

November 15, 2012
A study led by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has found a correlation between vitamin D3 serum levels and subsequent incidence of Type 1 diabetes. The six-year study of blood levels ...

Health benefits of vitamin D dependent on type taken

May 31, 2012
New research has shown that vitamin D3 supplements could provide more benefit than the close relative vitamin D2. The findings published in the June edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition could potentially ...

Sunscreen use may lead to vitamin D deficiency

April 27, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Using the amount and sun protection factor (SPF) of sunscreen recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) is associated with little or no vitamin D production, suggesting that regular sunscreen use may ...

Recommended for you

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Study finds 275,000 calls to poison control centers for dietary supplement exposures from 2000 through 2012

July 24, 2017
U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding dietary supplement exposures, according to a new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.