Vitamin D3 supplementation did not significantly improved time to a severe asthma exacerbation in children with asthma and vitamin D deficiency, according to the results of a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association.

Children with asthma and vitamin D deficiency taking low-dose inhaled corticosteroids were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of vitamin D3 supplementation (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02687815). Participants were randomly assigned to receive either vitamin D3 or placebo for 48 weeks. The primary study outcome was the time to a severe asthma exacerbation. Secondary outcomes included the time to a viral-induced severe exacerbation, and the proportion of participants who reduced inhaled corticosteroid dose halfway through the trial.

Of the 192 participants, 180 (93.8%) completed the trial (96 in each group). A total of 36 participants in the vitamin D3 group and 33 participants in the placebo group had ≥1 severe exacerbations during the trial.

Vitamin D3 supplementation did not significantly improve the time to a severe exacerbation (mean number of days, 240 vs 253 in the vitamin D3 and placebo groups, respectively). Furthermore, vitamin D3 supplementation did not significantly improve the time to a viral-induced severe exacerbation (mean number of days, 272 vs 281 in the vitamin D3 and placebo groups, respectively) or improve the proportion of participants whose dose of inhaled corticosteroid could be reduced (n=28 in the vitamin D3 group vs n=29 in the placebo group).


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The study authors wrote, “Among children with persistent asthma and low vitamin D levels, vitamin D3 supplementation, compared with placebo, did not significantly improve the time to a severe asthma exacerbation.” They added, “The findings do not support the use of vitamin D3 supplementation to prevent severe asthma exacerbations in this group of patients.”

Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.

Reference

Forno E, Bacharier LB, Phipatanakul W, et al. Effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on severe asthma exacerbations in children with asthma and low vitamin D levels: the VDKA randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2020;324(8):752-760. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.12384