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Environ Health Toxicol. 2017 Feb 14;32:e2017005. doi: 10.5620/eht.e2017005. eCollection 2017.

Are children with asthma in South Korea also associated with vitamin D deficiency?

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Environmental Health Center for Asthma, Korea University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Industrial Health, College of Applied Sciences, Catholic University of Pusan, Busan, Korea.
Department of Pediatrics, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Recently, epidemiologic studies have shown that the lack of serum vitamin D levels may be associated with high asthma prevalence, but its effect is still controversial, depending on season, area, and food consumption. We aimed to examine the association of serum vitamin D levels with the prevalence of pediatric asthma in Korea. A total of 80 children (50 asthmatic children and 30 healthy controls) aged 6-14 years were participated in this study. Serum vitamin D levels were measured and compared between the two groups. Moreover, the relationship of serum vitamin D levels with results of pulmonary function test and environmental factors (lifestyle habits and residential factors) collected by a questionnaire survey were examined in asthmatic patients. Serum vitamin D levels in asthmatic children (16.63±4.20 ng/mL) were significantly lower than that in healthy controls (24.24±6.76 ng/mL) (p<0.05). Also, we found that the prevalence of asthma increase to 0.79-fold (odds ratio, 0.79; 95% confidence interval, 0.71 to 0.88; p<0.001) as serum vitamin D level is 1 ng/mL decreases. The increased time spent in outdoor could affect the increases of serum vitamin D levels significantly. However, no associations of serum vitamin D with pulmonary function and residential environmental factors (i.e., housing type, living floor, and indoor activity time) were observed. Our findings suggest that serum vitamin D levels were also associated with pediatric asthma in Korea. Moreover, management of serum vitamin D level in asthmatic children would be a promising approach for preventing exaggeration of their severity.


Asthma; Child; Pulmonary function test; Serum; Sunlight; Vitamin D

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