BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The relationship between vitamin D and respiratory disease was examined by cross-sectional analysis of a large community-based sample.
METHODS: Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) and history of respiratory disease, symptoms (recorded by questionnaire) and spirometry were measured in 5011 adults aged 45-69 years. Adjustments were made for age, sex, season and smoking (Model A), plus body mass index (BMI) and physical activity level (Model B), plus history of chronic diseases (Model C).
RESULTS: Mean (SD) age was 58 (SD 6) years with 45% males, 10% current smokers and 12% taking vitamin D supplements. The prevalence of 25OHD level <50 nmol/L was 8.0%. In all the three models, 25OHD <50 nmol/L was significantly associated with asthma (Model C: odds ratio (OR): 1.32; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.73), bronchitis (1.54; 1.17, 2.01), wheeze (1.37; 1.10, 1.71) and chest tightness (1.42; 1.10, 1.83). Participants with vitamin D level > 100 nmol/L had higher forced vital capacity (FVC) in all the three models (1.17% higher, compared with the 50-100 nmol/L group in Model C).
CONCLUSION: Low levels of serum 25OHD were independently associated with asthma, bronchitis, wheeze and chest tightness after three levels of adjustment for potential confounders. Higher vitamin D levels were associated with higher levels of lung function.