HealthDay News—For patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not reduce the incidence of exacerbations, according to a study published in the Jan. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

An Lehouck, PhD, from the University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium, and colleagues investigated whether supplementation with high doses of vitamin D reduced the incidence of COPD exacerbations. A total of 182 patients with moderate to very severe COPD and a history of exacerbations were randomly allocated to receive vitamin D supplementation (100,000 IU), or placebo, every four weeks for one year. The primary outcome measured was the time to first exacerbation.

The investigators found that, compared with the placebo group, the mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels increased significantly in the vitamin D group. There were no significant differences between the groups in the median time to first exacerbation, exacerbation rates, forced expiratory volume in one second, hospitalization, quality of life, or death. For 30 participants with severe vitamin D deficiency at baseline, there was a significant reduction in exacerbations in the vitamin D group observed in a post hoc analysis (rate ratio, 0.57).

“High-dose vitamin D supplementation in a sample of patients with COPD did not reduce the incidence of exacerbations. In participants with severe vitamin D deficiency at baseline, supplementation may reduce exacerbations,” the authors write.

Supplies for the study were provided by Laboratoires SMB.

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