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Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 14;114(7):1026-34. doi: 10.1017/S000711451500207X. Epub 2015 Aug 27.

Vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of childhood acute respiratory infections: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials.

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Second Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University,Hefei230601,Anhui Province,People's Republic of China.
Shaoxing Center for Disease Control and Prevention,Shaoxing312000,Zhejiang Province,People's Republic of China.
Huzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention,Huzhou313000,Zhejiang Province,People's Republic of China.
Department of Maternal and Child Health,School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University,Hefei230032,Anhui,People's Republic of China.
Anhui Institute of Schistosomiasis Control,Hefei230061,Anhui Province,People's Republic of China.
Anhui Provincial Family Planning Institute of Science and Technology,Hefei230031,Anhui Province,People's Republic of China.


Results from recent trials assessing the effect of vitamin D supplementation on the prevention of childhood acute respiratory infections (ARI) have been inconsistent. In the present study, we determined whether vitamin D supplementation prevents ARI in healthy children and repeated infections in children with previous ARI. We conducted a systematic literature search using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. The search included only randomised controlled clinical trials (RCT) comparing vitamin D supplementation with either placebo or no intervention in children younger than 18 years of age. We identified seven RCT and found that the summary estimates were not statistically significantly associated with a reduction in the risk of ARI (relative risk (RR) 0·79, 95% CI 0·55, 1·13), all-cause mortality (RR 1·18, 95% CI 0·71, 1·94), or the rate of hospital admission due to respiratory infection in healthy children (RR 0·95, 95% CI 0·72, 1·26). However, in children previously diagnosed with asthma, vitamin D supplementation resulted in a 74% reduction in the risk of asthma exacerbation (RR 0·26, 95% CI 0·11, 0·59; test of heterogeneity, I 2= 0·0%). Our findings indicate a lack of evidence supporting the routine use of vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of ARI in healthy children; however, they suggest that such supplementation may benefit children previously diagnosed with asthma. Due to the heterogeneity of the included studies and possible publication biases related to this field, these results should be interpreted with caution.


Acute respiratory infections; Randomised controlled trials; Vitamin D

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