Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Health-Related Quality of Life and Physical Performance in Children with Sickle Cell Disease and in Healthy Children

J Pediatr Health Care. 2020 Sep-Oct;34(5):424-434. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2020.04.007. Epub 2020 Jun 5.


Introduction: No study determined if vitamin D supplementation improves health-related quality of life (HRQL) using pediatric Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System or physical functioning in type SS sickle cell disease (HbSS).

Method: Subjects with HbSS (n = 21) and healthy subjects (n = 23) were randomized to daily oral doses (4,000 vs. 7,000 IU) of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and evaluated at 6 and 12 weeks for changes in serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), HRQL, and physical functioning.

Results: In subjects with HbSS, significant reductions in pain, fatigue, and depressive symptoms and improved upper-extremity function were observed. In healthy subjects, significant reductions in fatigue and improved upper-extremity function were observed. Significant improvements in peak power and dorsiflexion isometric maximal voluntary contraction torques were observed in both groups. In subjects with HbSS, improved plantar flexion isometric maximal voluntary contraction torques were observed. Both groups saw significant improvement in their total Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency score.

Discussion: Daily high-dose vitamin D supplementation for African American children with and without HbSS improved HRQL and physical performance.

Keywords: Sickle cell disease; muscle strength; physical performance; quality of life; vitamin D supplementation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell* / drug therapy
  • Child
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Functional Performance*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency* / drug therapy
  • Vitamin D* / therapeutic use


  • Vitamin D