There is much interest in the role of nutrients and micronutrients in the support of host defense against infections. However, there is controversy in the ability of supplements to help prevent or treat infections. Speakers discuss research on the role of vitamin D supplements to prevent and/or treat recurrent ear infections in children and even the common cold.
Michael Schmidt, Medical Univ. of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Susanna Esposito, Univ. degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
David R. Murdoch, Univ. of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand
EMBARGOED UNTIL: Thursday, September 12, 11:00 AM MDT
(Session 158, Paper G-1249)
Pediatric Clin. 1, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore PoliClin., Univ. degli Studi di Milano, Milan, -null-, Italy
Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a deficit in vitamin D (VD) is associated with an increased risk of recurrent acute otitis media (rAOM), and whether VD supplementation is effective in reducing the number of AOM episodes in otitis-prone children.
Methods: A total of 116 children with a history of rAOM (≥3 episodes in preceding six months, or ≥4 episodes in preceding 12 months) were prospectively and blindly randomized to receive oral VD 1,000 IU/day or placebo for 4 months. Episodes of AOM were monitored for 6 months.
Results: Fifty-eight children received placebo and 58 with similar characteristics were treated with VD. The number of children experiencing ≥1 AOM episode during the study period was significantly lower in the treatment group (26 vs 38; p=0.03). There was a marked difference in the number of children who developed uncomplicated AOM (p<0.001), but no difference in the number of children with ≥1 episode of spontaneous otorrhea. The likelihood of AOM was significantly reduced in the patients whose serum VD concentrations were ≥30 ng/mL.
Conclusions: VD hypovitaminosis is common in children with rAOM and associated with an increase in the occurrence of AOM when serum 25(OH)D levels are <30 ng/mL. The administration of VD in a dosage of 1,000 IU/day restores serum values of ≥30 ng/mL in most cases and is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of uncomplicated AOM.