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Sao Paulo Med J. 2017 Sep-Oct;135(5):497-507. doi: 10.1590/1516-3180.2017.0230150817. Epub 2017 Nov 6.

What do Cochrane systematic reviews say about interventions for vitamin D supplementation?

Author information

1
Undergraduate Medical Student, Escola Paulista de Medicina - Universidade Federal de São Paulo (EPM-Unifesp), São Paulo (SP), Brazil.
2
MSc. Psychologist and Postgraduate Student, Postgraduate Evidence-Based Health Program, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (Unifesp), and Assistant Researcher, Cochrane Brazil, São Paulo (SP), Brazil.
3
MSc, PhD. Physical Therapist and Assistant Researcher, Cochrane Brazil, São Paulo (SP), Brazil.
4
MD, MSc, PhD. Rheumatologist and Adjunct Professor, Discipline of Evidence-Based Medicine, Escola Paulista de Medicina - Universidade Federal de São Paulo (EPM-Unifesp); Assistant Coordinator, Cochrane Brazil, São Paulo (SP), Brazil.
5
MD, MSc. Neurologist and Postgraduate Student, Postgraduate Evidence-Based Health Program, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (Unifesp), and Assistant Researcher, Cochrane Brazil, São Paulo (SP), Brazil.

Abstract

CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE:

Despite the high prevalence of vitamin D supplementation, its use remains controversial. The objective of this review was to identify and summarize the evidence from Cochrane systematic reviews regarding vitamin D supplementation for preventing ortreating any clinical condition.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Review of systematic reviews, conducted in the Discipline of Evidence-Based Medicine, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de São Paulo.

METHODS:

A search was conducted to identify all Cochrane systematic reviews that fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Titles and abstracts were screened by two authors.

RESULTS:

We included 27 Cochrane systematic reviews: 10 assessing use of vitamin D for prevention and 17 for treatment. The reviews found moderate to high quality of evidence regarding the benefit of vitamin D for pregnant women (prevention of adverse events: preterm birth risk [rate ratio, RR 0.36; 95% confidence interval, CI 0.14 to 0.93] and low birthweight risk [RR 0.40; 95% CI 0.24 to 0.67]) and for asthma patients (reduction of severe exacerbations [RR 0.63; 95% CI 0.45 to 0.88]). No benefit was found regarding vitamin D supplementation alone (without calcium) for preventing hip or any new fracture. For all other outcomes assessed under various conditions, the current quality of evidence is low or unknown, and therefore insufficient for any recommendation.

CONCLUSION:

Based on moderate to high quality of evidence, the Cochrane systematic reviews included here showed that there were some benefits from vitamin D supplementation for pregnant women and asthma patients and no benefits for preventing fractures.

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