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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

UAB: Vitamin D for the Immune System in Cystic Fibrosis

Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) have increased risk of vitamin D deficiency owing to fat malabsorption and other factors. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk of pulmonary exacerbations of CF. Dr. Suzanne Judd, professor in the department of biostatistics at University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, joined a team of researchers to study this risk.

The primary objective of this study was to examine the impact of a single high-dose bolus of vitamin D3 followed by maintenance treatment given to adults with CF during an acute pulmonary exacerbation on future recurrence of pulmonary exacerbations.

This was a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, intent-to-treat clinical trial. Subjects with CF were randomly assigned to oral vitamin D3 given as a single dose of 250,000 International Units (IU) or to placebo within 72 h of hospital admission for an acute pulmonary exacerbation, followed by 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 or an identically matched placebo pill taken orally every other week starting at 3 mo after random assignment.

There were no differences between the vitamin D3 and placebo groups in time to next pulmonary exacerbation or death at 1 y. In addition, there were no differences in serial recovery of lung function after pulmonary exacerbation by FEV1 percent or in serial concentrations of plasma cathelicidin.

Vitamin D3 initially given at the time of pulmonary exacerbation of CF did not alter the time to the next pulmonary exacerbation, 12-mo mortality, serial lung function, or serial plasma cathelicidin concentrations.

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