Objective: To define the therapeutic role of vitamin D in children with moderate to severe bronchial asthma as an adjunct to standard treatment.
Methods: Hundred asthmatic children of either sex, attending the respiratory and asthma clinic were enroled in the study. Diagnosis was made on the basis of history and clinical examination. Randomization was done using sealed opaque envelop method. In addition to the treatment as per GINA guidelines, one group received oral vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) 60,000 IU per month for 6 mo and the other group received placebo powder in the form of glucose sachet with a double blinded design. Monthly follow up of every patient was done and during every visit change in severity, level of control, Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), steroid dosage, number of exacerbations and number of emergency visits were assessed.
Results: Monthly doses of 60,000 IU vitamin D significantly reduced the number of exacerbations as compared to placebo (p = 0.011). PEFR significantly increased in the treatment group (p = 0.000). Monthly doses of vitamin D significantly reduced the requirement of steroids (p = 0.013) and emergency visits (p = 0.015). Control of asthma was achieved earlier in patients who received monthly vitamin D. Vitamin D significantly reduced the level of severity of asthma patients over 6 mo of treatment (p = 0.016).
Conclusions: Vitamin D has a definite role in the management of moderate to severe persistent bronchial asthma as an adjunct to standard treatment.