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Vitamin D supplementation did not prevent influenza-like illness as diagnosed retrospectively by questionnaires in subjects participating in randomized clinical trials

Vitamin D supplementation did not prevent influenza-like illness as diagnosed retrospectively by questionnaires in subjects participating in randomized clinical trials

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Authors

  • Rolf Jorde
  • Miles Witham
  • Wim Janssens
  • Lars Rolighed
  • Kyra Borchhardt
  • Ian H. de Boer
  • Guri Grimnes
  • Moira S. Hutchinson

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Original languageEnglish
Pages126-132
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Journal publication dateFeb 2012
Volume44
Issue2
DOIs
StatePublished

Abstract

Background: Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with a number of diseases, including influenza. Whether or not this reflects a causal relationship is unknown. We therefore wanted to examine if supplementation with vitamin D would affect the incidence and severity of influenza-like disease. Methods: Questionnaires on influenza were sent to subjects participating in ongoing placebo-controlled intervention studies with vitamin D supplementation, up until the end of April 2010. Results: Five hundred and sixty-nine subjects from 10 different clinical trials were included in the study, of whom 289 were randomized to receive vitamin D (1111-6800 IU/day) and 280 to receive placebo. Influenza-like disease during the previous fall/winter was reported in 38 subjects in the vitamin D group and 42 in the placebo group (non-significant), of whom 25 and 26 subjects, respectively, fulfilled our clinical criteria for influenza. In these latter subjects, the duration of illness was significantly longer among those in the vitamin D group than among those in the placebo group (median 7 (range 2-60) days vs median 4 (range 2-18) days; p = 0.007). However, this difference was not statistically significant if all 38 (vitamin D) and 42 (placebo) subjects who reported symptoms were included. Conclusion: Our results do not support the hypothesis that high doses of vitamin D supplementation will have a pronounced effect on influenza-like disease in populations not targeted for high influenza risk.

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