Vitamin D deficiency a risk factor for asthma

Many people suffer from asthma, and children are affected relatively often. According to the results of a recent study, vitamin D could possibly play an important role in the diseases . An Iranian research team from the University of Kerbala has investigated the link between vitamin D deficiency and childhood asthma and found a striking overlap. The corresponding study results were published in the " Journal of Preventive Diagnostics and Treatment Strategies in Medicine ". Asthma is an extremely common symptom that affects millions of people worldwide, the researchers report. The chronic respiratory disease is characterized in particular by increased inflammation of the airways and hypersensitivity of the airways . According to the researchers, vitamin D is of particular interest in asthma because of its immunomodulatory effects , and a 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency in the serum is considered a risk factor for the development of serious chronic diseases in which inflammatory processes play a role. Some previous studies have shown links between vitamin D and asthma , but other studies have found conflicting results, the research team explains. In the current study, the researchers used the data from children who visited the Children's Teaching Hospital in Karbala because of asthma to check whether there could be a connection with vitamin D deficiency. A total of 55 asthmatic and 66 healthy children aged up to 14 years were included in the study as an investigation and control group. The researchers explain that demographic information and the body mass index were recorded for both groups. The 25-hydroxyvitamin D level in the blood was also measured in all 116 children. "Compared to the control group, significantly lower vitamin D serum levels were found in the patient group," the experts report on the results. Forty-six children with asthma (92 percent) were vitamin D deficient (30 ng/ml or less 25-hydroxyvitamin D). No significant relationship was found between vitamin D levels and age, gender, obesity, sun exposure and food intake in asthma. The study showed that the frequency of vitamin D deficiency in children with asthma is significantly higher than that in controls , the researchers conclude. However, the extent to which there is a causal connection cannot be determined from the current study results and must now be checked in further research work.