BACKGROUND: There is no consensus on optimal Vitamin D status. The objective of this study was to estimate the extent to which vitamin D status predicts illness duration and treatment failure in children with severe pneumonia by using different cut-offs for vitamin D concentration.
METHODS: We measured the plasma-concentration of 25(OH)D in 568 children hospitalized with WHO-defined severe pneumonia. The associations between vitamin D status, using the most frequently used cut-offs of vitamin D insufficiency (25(OH)D <50 and <75 nmol/l) and risk of treatment failure and time until recovery were analysed in multiple logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models, respectively.
RESULTS: Of the 568 children, 322 (56.7%) had plasma-25(OH)D ≥75 nmol/l, 179 (31.5%) 50-74.9 nmol/l and 67 (%) <50 nmol/l. Plasma-25(OH)D <50 nmol/l was associated with increased risk of treatment failure and longer time until recovery.
CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that low vitamin D status (25(OH)D <50 nmol/l) is an independent risk factor for treatment failure and delayed recovery of severe lower respiratory infections in children.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT00252304.Pediatric Research accepted article preview online, 05 July 2017. doi:10.1038/pr.2017.71.