Posted on Jun 04, 2013, 6 a.m.
Older people with low serum vitamin D3 levels are significantly more likely to contract pneumonia.
Results of a recent study have shown that low serum vitamin D levels are a risk factor for pneumonia. Alex Aregbesola and colleagues at the University of Eastern Finland studied data from 723 men and 698 women aged 53–73 years. Serum vitamin D3 levels were measured from blood samples drawn in 1998–2001 when all patients were free of pneumonia, other pulmonary diseases and cancer. Incident pneumonia episodes leading to hospitalization in the same set of subjects between 1998–2009 were collected by record linkage to the hospital discharge register. The mean serum D3 concentration of the study population at baseline was 43.5 nmol/l, and the mean age of the study population was 62.5 years. Results showed that participants in the lowest serum vitamin D3 tertile had a 2.6-fold higher risk of developing pneumonia compared with the subjects in the highest tertile. The risk of contracting pneumonia was also found to increase with age, and was greater in men than women.
Alex Aregbesola, Sari Voutilainen, Tarja Nurmi, Jyrki K Virtanen, Kimmo Ronkainen, Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and the risk of pneumonia in an ageing general population. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2013;67:533-536.