Low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of pneumonia, according to new research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
The research, carried out by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland, studied the link between vitamin D status and risk of contracting pneumonia. The study population included 1421 men and women ages 53-73 years. Vitamin D concentrations were assessed using blood samples from the participants from 1998 to 2001. Blood levels were compared with reported cases of pneumonia in the same set of subjects.
Mean vitamin D status was deficient at 17.8 ng/ml. Seventy-three participants were hospitalized at least once due to pneumonia during the 10 year follow up. The authors report that the participants with the lowest vitamin D status had a 2.5 times greater risk of developing pneumonia compared with participants with the highest vitamin D levels.
Past research has shown that low vitamin D status is linked to poor pneumonia prognosis. We’ve reported on the study here: Vitamin D level linked to pneumonia prognosis. The University of Eastern Finland study was the first to establish a link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of pneumonia in the aging general population.