Vitamin D deficiency is associated with decreased lung function in Chinese adults with asthma

Respiration. 2011;81(6):469-75. doi: 10.1159/000322008. Epub 2010 Dec 1.


Background: Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with markers for allergy and asthma severity in children with asthma. However, its association with Chinese adult asthmatics has not been studied.

Objective: To examine whether vitamin D status is associated with lung function and total serum IgE in Chinese adults with newly diagnosed asthma.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study including 435 Chinese patients aged >18 years with newly diagnosed asthma. Vitamin D status was assessed by measuring serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) concentrations. The primary outcomes included airflow limitation, as measured by the forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)), FEV(1) % predicted, and FEV(1)/forced vital capacity (FVC), and serum total IgE concentration.

Results: Vitamin D deficiency was prevalent in Chinese adults with asthma, with 88.9% of the subjects having 25OHD <50 nmol/l. Serum 25OHD concentration was positively correlated with FEV(1) % predicted (p = 0.02, r = 0.12). After adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, smoking, month of blood collection, and symptom duration, we found significant positive associations between 25OHD concentrations and FEV(1) (in liters), FEV(1) % predicted, and FEV(1)/FVC (p for trend < 0.05 for all). The adjusted odds ratios for the highest versus the lowest 25OHD quartile were 0.50 (0.26-0.96) for FEV(1) <75% predicted and 0.44 (0.20-0.95) for FEV(1)/FVC% <0.75. There was no significant association between 25OHD concentrations and total IgE.

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency was highly prevalent in Chinese asthma patients, and vitamin D status was associated with lung function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / blood
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eosinophils
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vital Capacity
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology


  • Biomarkers
  • Vitamin D
  • Immunoglobulin E