Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation in the Prevention of Recurrent Pneumonia in Under-Five Children.

By Neha SinghEmail authorDnyanesh KambleEmail authorN. S. Mahantshetti

The Indian Journal of Pediatrics. July 25, 2019


To assess the effect of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention of recurrent pneumonia in under-five children.

The present one year 8 months longitudinal, community-based randomized controlled study included a total of 100 under-five children with pneumonia. Children were divided into two groups: intervention group (Group I: standard treatment with vitamin D 300,000 IU; n = 50) and control group (Group C: standard treatment only; n = 50). As nine samples were hemolyzed, groups I and C comprised of 46 and 45 children, respectively. The children were followed up for 1 y and signs of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI), vitamin D deficiency, and vitamin D toxicity were recorded.

The male to female ratio in group C and I was 1.27:1 and 1.5:1, respectively (P = 0.420). Age, gender, birth, anthropometric and clinical characteristics, and feeding habits were not statistically significant (P > 0.05) between both the cohorts (Group C and I). Children with reduced vitamin D levels were high in group C (25) when compared to the group I (15). During all the follow-ups, the URTI and LRTI episodes, severity of pneumonia, number of hospital admissions, complications, mean episodes of LRTI, and mean duration of LRTI were comparable between group I and group C (P > 0.05).

Overall, the present study highlights that oral vitamin D (300,000 IU bolus dose quarterly) has some beneficial effect in the prevention of recurrent pneumonia in under-five children, although, not to a significant degree. Hence, it is recommended that further studies are required to demonstrate a significant effect of vitamin D in the prevention of pneumonia.

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