Vitamin D's potential to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections

Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Apr 1;4(2):167-75. doi: 10.4161/derm.20789.


Health care-associated and hospital-acquired infections are two entities associated with increased morbidity and mortality. They are highly costly and constitute a great burden to the health care system. Vitamin D deficiency (< 20 ng/ml) is prevalent and may be a key contributor to both acute and chronic ill health. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with decreased innate immunity and increased risk for infections. Vitamin D can positively influence a wide variety of microbial infections. Herein we discuss hospital-acquired infections, such as pneumonia, bacteremias, urinary tract and surgical site infections, and the potential role vitamin D may play in ameliorating them. We also discuss how vitamin D might positively influence these infections and help contain health care costs. Pending further studies, we think it is prudent to check vitamin D status at hospital admission and to take immediate steps to address existing insufficient 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels.

Keywords: antimicrobials; deficiency; economic burden; hospital-acquired infections; infections; nosocomial infections; vitamin D.