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Vitamin D supplementation does not reduce asthma treatment failure in people with low Vitamin D, but some benefits suggested.

WHAT: Supplementing inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) with vitamin D does not reduce the rate of treatment failure in patients with asthma and vitamin D insufficiency, finds a new National Institutes of Health-funded study. The Vitamin D Add-on Therapy Enhances Corticosteroid Responsiveness in Asthma (VIDA) trial randomized 408 adults with low vitamin D and mild/moderate asthma to receive the ICS ciclesonide supplemented with either high-dose vitamin D3 or placebo; the participants were then monitored over 28 weeks for the occurrence of worsening asthma.

Vitamin D3 supplementation did not reduce the proportion of participants who experienced at least one treatment failure (28 percent vs. 29 percent in placebo) or one exacerbation (13 percent vs. 19 percent) nor the overall exacerbation rate. More of the vitamin D treated patients were able to reduce their inhaled steroid dose by 75 percent compared to those treated with placebo (89 percent vs. 80 percent).  Further studies on the potential for Vitamin D to lower the required effective dose of inhaled steroids are needed to determine if the suggested benefit seen in this study will be seen in other patients. Overall, Vitamin D supplementation was not associated with any increased risk of adverse events, and most participants (82 percent) who were given supplements achieved an adequate level of Vitamin D.

This research was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) as part of its’ AsthmaNet clinical research network. The findings were presented on May 18 at the American Thoracic Society annual meeting and concurrently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

WHO: Michelle Freemer, M.D., program officer in NHLBI’s Division of Lung Diseases (DLD), and/or Gail Weinmann, M.D., deputy director of DLD, will be available to comment on VIDA and the clinical implications of these findings.

CONTACT: For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact the NHLBI Communications Office at 301-496-4236 or nhlbi_news@nhlbi.nih.gov.

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