A new study failed to establish any link between low levels of vitamin D and acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) in patients with severe COPD. Previously it was thought that low vitamin D levels might increase the risk of AECOPDs, as vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with COPD and patients with severe COPD are at an increased risk of exacerbations.
The large prospective cohort study involved 973 North American patients. Scientists were studying the effects of azithromycin on the frequency of AECOPD when they made this secondary analysis that there was no relationship between baseline Vitamin D levels and AECOPD exacerbation rates. Thus vitamin D supplementation has no significant role in the treatment of AECOPD. However the study had some limitations- only baseline vitamin D levels were assessed, and these levels might have changed during the study. The possibility of seasonal changes in vitamin D levels also cannot be ruled out.
The findings have been published in the online edition of the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.