Research shows Vitamin D levels drop after pediatric heart surgery, increasing sickness

June 26, 2013

Until now, there has been no research dedicated to the importance of Vitamin D supplementation in children with congenital heart disease (CHD). However, over the past few years, researchers at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute and Cardiovascular Surgery Program teamed with the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group to understand the impact of cardiac surgery on the Vitamin D status of infants and children, to be printed next month in Anesthesiology.

"The importance of Vitamin D levels and supplementation in healthy infants and children is well established," said Dr. Dayre McNally, a clinical researcher and intensivist at CHEO and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Ottawa. "Now we have more compelling evidence that children with require even higher levels of Vitamin D intake in the months preceding surgery."

This evidence comes from a study that looked at 58 children who had cardiac surgery at CHEO. Blood was collected at the time of admission to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit immediately following surgery, and revealed that almost all of the children had low Vitamin D levels. With additional tests, the researchers were able to determine why. "Our results show that almost all children are Vitamin D deficient post-operatively as a result of borderline acceptable levels prior to surgery, combined with a 40% decline during the operation."

The role of Vitamin D in the growth and maintenance of bone health is well known to the public. However, recent studies have also suggested Vitamin D to be important for the proper functioning of other organs including the heart, lungs and immune systems. This study by Dr. McNally confirms this, as patients with lower post-operative Vitamin D levels were more prone to requiring more life-sustaining therapies (medications to support , longer duration of assisted breathing) and stayed in the Intensive Care Unit for longer periods of time.

Although Dr. McNally and his co-investigators are concerned with the high rates of post-operative vitamin D deficiency they also view the finding as positive. "The children and families who generously participated in this research have provided us with important information that may help the next generation of children maintain better health and recover quicker following ," explained Dr. McNally. The CHEO Research Institute and Canadian Critical Care Trials Group have wasted little time and have already designed a novel study with the goal of identifying a new approach to Vitamin D supplementation in children with CHD.

Explore further: First pediatric study to look at the role of vitamin D in critical illness

Related Stories

First pediatric study to look at the role of vitamin D in critical illness

September 12, 2012
Vitamin D is increasingly being recognized as important for good health. Vitamin D is a hormone made in the skin following sun exposure or acquired from diet and supplement intake. Previous medical research has shown that ...

Supplements and cow's milk play biggest roles in determining vitamin D levels in children

January 14, 2013
Taking a vitamin D supplement and drinking cow's milk are the two most important factors that determine how much vitamin D is in a child's body, new research has found.

Vitamin C is beneficial against the common cold

February 13, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—According to an updated Cochrane review on vitamin C and the common cold, vitamin C seems to be particularly beneficial for people under heavy physical stress.

Preterm infants may need 800 IU of vitamin D3 per day

May 5, 2013
Preterm infants may need to be given 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day to ensure they develop strong bones, according to a study to be presented Sunday, May 5, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual ...

Vitamin D deficiency and poorer lung function in asthmatic children treated with steroids

July 13, 2012
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with poorer lung function in asthmatic children treated with inhaled corticosteroids, according to a new study from researchers in Boston.

Researchers pinpoint upper safe limit of vitamin D blood levels

April 30, 2013
Researchers claim to have calculated for the first time, the upper safe limit of vitamin D levels, above which the associated risk for cardiovascular events or death raises significantly, according to a recent study accepted ...

Recommended for you

World's first child hand transplant a 'success'

July 19, 2017
The first child in the world to undergo a double hand transplant is now able to write, feed and dress himself, doctors said Tuesday, declaring the ground-breaking operation a success after 18 months.

Knee surgery—have we been doing it wrong?

July 18, 2017
A team of University at Buffalo medical doctors have published a study that challenges a surgical practice used for decades during arthroscopic knee surgery.

New tools help surgeons find liver tumors, not nick blood vessels

July 17, 2017
The liver is a particularly squishy, slippery organ, prone to shifting both deadly tumors and life-preserving blood vessels by inches between the time they're discovered on a CT scan and when the patient is lying on an operating ...

Researchers discover indicator of lung transplant rejection

July 13, 2017
Research by scientists at Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center's Norton Thoracic Institute was published in the July 12, 2017 issue of Science Translational Medicine titled "Zbtb7a induction in alveolar ...

New device could make closing surgical incisions a cinch

July 7, 2017
Like many surgeons, Dr. Jason Spector is often faced with the challenge of securely closing the abdominal wall without injuring the intestines. If the process goes awry, there can be serious consequences for patients, including ...

Success with first 20 patients undergoing minimally invasive pancreatic transplant surgery

June 29, 2017
Surgeons at Johns Hopkins Medicine report that their first series of a minimally invasive procedure to treat chronic pancreas disease, known as severe pancreatitis, resulted in shorter hospital stays, less need for opioids ...

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.