Vitamin D deficiency and acute lower respiratory infections in children younger than 5 years: identification and treatment.
J Pediatr Health Care. 2014 Nov-Dec;28(6):572-82; quiz 583-4. Epub 2014 Oct 18. PMID: 25441970
INTRODUCTION: Acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) is a leading cause of childhood mortality. Research suggests that vitamin D deficiency (VDD) puts children at risk for ALRI. The purpose of this review is to examine ALRI and VDD in children 5 years and younger. Common etiologies, diagnosis, prevention, treatment of ALRI, and recommendations for vitamin D supplementation are summarized.
METHOD: Databases were searched for studies investigating VDD and ALRI in children. Independent reviewers assessed the internal validity of the studies.
RESULTS: Of 18 studies examined, VDD was found to be associated with increased risk or severity of ALRI in 13 studies; associations were not found in 4 studies. In one study it was found that high maternal vitamin D levels was associated with ALRI in infants.
DISCUSSION: Vitamin D supplementation is a low-cost, low-risk intervention that providers should consider for children, especially those at high risk for ALRI. Practitioners should follow current recommendations when prescribing vitamin D supplementation for infants and children.