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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2015 Aug 30;8:391.
doi: 10.1186/s13104-015-1378-3.

Vitamin D Supplementation to Patients With Frequent Respiratory Tract Infections: A Post Hoc Analysis of a Randomized and Placebo-Controlled Trial

Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Vitamin D Supplementation to Patients With Frequent Respiratory Tract Infections: A Post Hoc Analysis of a Randomized and Placebo-Controlled Trial

Peter Bergman et al. BMC Res Notes. .
Free PMC article


Background: Vitamin D is considered to be important for a healthy immune system. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that vitamin D supplementation reduces number of respiratory tract infections (RTIs) and prolong the time to the first RTI in adult patients with frequent RTIs.

Methods: We performed a post hoc analysis of a randomized, placebo-controlled and double-blinded study, where adult patients with a high burden of RTIs were randomized to placebo or vitamin D (4000 IE/day for 1 year, n = 124 in the per protocol cohort presented here).

Results: Vitamin D supplementation increased the probability to stay free of RTI during the study year (RR 0.64, 95% CI 0.43-0.94). Further, the total number of RTIs was also reduced in the vitamin D-group (86 RTIs) versus placebo (120 RTIs; p = 0.05). Finally, the time to the first RTI was significantly extended in the vitamin D-group (HR 1.68, 95% CI 1.03-2.68, p = 0.0376).

Conclusion: Vitamin D supplementation was found to significantly increase the probability of staying infection free during the study period. This finding further supports the notion that vitamin D-status should be monitored in adult patients with frequent RTIs and suggests that selected patients with vitamin D deficiency are supplemented. This could be a safe and cheap way to reduce RTIs and improve health in this vulnerable patient population. The original trial was registered at (NCT01131858).


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Time to first acute respiratory tract infection (RTI) in immunodeficient patients treated with vitamin D (4000 IE/day for 1 year) or placebo. There was a significantly higher probability to stay infection free in the vitamin D-group (HR 1.68, 95 % CI 1.03–2.68, p = 0.038, Log rank Mantel Cox test)

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