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Vitamin D can play role in lung health

n in non-Hispanic whites and blacks and was greater for those over 60 years and current or former smokers.

"The difference in lung function between the highest and lowest quintiles of vitamin D is substantial and greater than the difference between former and nonsmokers," said Dr. Black. "Although there is a definite relationship between lung function and vitamin D, it is unclear if increases in vitamin D through supplements or dietary intake will actually improve lung function in patients with chronic respiratory diseases."

Overall, male gender, younger age, white ethnicity, nonsmoking status, and regular, vigorous physical activity were associated with the highest lung function. Vitamin D was higher in men than women, was inversely related to BMI, and declined with age. Vitamin D also was lower in non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican-Americans, compared with non-Hispanic whites, and it was lower in participants smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day compared with nonsmokers.

"Vitamin D would be a relatively simple, low-cost intervention that would likely have high compliance to prevent or slow loss of lung function in susceptible subgroups. However, further studies examining the relationship between vitamin D and lung function are warranted to identify who may benefit from such an intervention," said author of the study's corresponding editorial Rosalind Wright, MD, MPH, Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

"Chronic lung conditions compromise quality of life for millions of people in the United States and around the world," said W. Michael Alberts, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. "By understanding the effect that vitamins have on lung function, we may be able to identify new and more effective treatments for these debilitating diseases."


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Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
jstawarz@chestnet.org
847-498-8306
American College of Chest Physicians
12-Dec-2005


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