Vitamin D intervention in preschoolers with viral-induced asthma (DIVA): a pilot randomised controlled trial

Megan E Jensen, Genevieve Mailhot, Nathalie Alos, Elizabeth Rousseau, John H White, Ali Khamessan, Francine M Ducharme
Trials 2016 July 26, 17 (1): 353

BACKGROUND: Trials in school-aged children suggest vitamin D supplementation reduces asthma exacerbations. Primary aim: to examine whether vitamin D3 (100,000 IU) rapidly raises serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) ≥75 nmol/L in asthmatic preschoolers.

METHODS: In a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, preschool-aged children with asthma received 100,000 IU vitamin D3 (intervention) or placebo (control), followed by 400 IU vitamin D3 daily for 6 months. Serum 25OHD was measured at baseline, 10 days, 3 and 6 months. Outcomes included the group difference in 25OHD change from baseline at 3 months (Δ25OHD); the proportion of children with 25OHD ≥75 nmol/L at 3 months; the pattern in serum vitamin D over 6 months; the proportion of children with hypercalciuria at any time point (safety); and group rates for oral corticosteroids. Continuous outcomes were analysed using generalised linear mixed models and group rate ratios of events per child were assessed using a Poisson distribution model.

RESULTS: Twenty-two children were randomised (intervention:11; control:11) during winter. At 3 months, the group difference in Δ25OHD (7.2 nmol/L; 95 % CI: -13.7, 28.1) was not significant; yet, 100 % versus 54.5 % (intervention versus control) had serum 25OHD ≥75 nmol/L. There was a significant group difference in Δ25OHD at 10 days (110.3 nmol/L; 95 % CI: 64.0, 156.6). One child in each group had transient hypercalciuria at 10 days. Group oral corticosteroids rates were 0.82 and 1.18/child, intervention versus control (rate ratio = 0.68; 95 % CI: 0.30, 1.62; non-significant).

CONCLUSIONS: Following 100,000 IU vitamin D3, all children reached serum 25OHD ≥75 nmol/L, compared with half who received placebo. Daily supplementation, sun exposure and insufficient power may explain the absence of a significant 3-month group difference in Δ25OHD. No clinically important alterations in bone metabolism biomarkers occurred. Group oral corticosteroid rates will inform sample size calculations for the larger trial. ( NCT01999907 , 25 November 2013).

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