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Respirology. 2011 May;16(4):611-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2011.01924.x.

Vitamin D, innate immunity and outcomes in community acquired pneumonia.

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1
Respiratory Research Unit, Waikato Hospital Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Waikato, Hamilton Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:

Vitamin D regulates the production of the antimicrobial peptides cathelicidin and beta-defensin-2, which play an important role in the innate immune response to infection. We hypothesized that vitamin D deficiency would be associated with lower levels of these peptides and worse outcomes in patients admitted to hospital with community acquired pneumonia.

METHODS:

Associations between mortality and serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, cathelicidin and beta-defensin-2 were investigated in a prospective cohort of 112 patients admitted with community acquired pneumonia during winter.

RESULTS:

Severe 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency (<30nmol/L) was common in this population (15%) and was associated with a higher 30-day mortality compared with patients with sufficient 25-hydroxyvitamin D (>50nmol/L) (odds ratio 12.7, 95% confidence interval: 2.2-73.3, P=0.004). These associations were not explained by differences in age, comorbidities, or the severity of the acute illness. Neither cathelicidin nor beta-defensin-2 levels predicted mortality, although there was a trend towards increased mortality with lower cathelicidin (P=0.053). Neither cathelicidin nor beta-defensin-2 levels correlated with 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

CONCLUSIONS:

25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency is associated with increased mortality in patients admitted to hospital with community acquired pneumonia during winter. Contrary to our hypothesis, 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were not associated with levels of cathelicidin or beta-defensin-2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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