Rationale: Low vitamin D levels are associated with asthma and decreased airway responsiveness. Treatment with inhaled corticosteroids improves airway responsiveness and asthma control.
Objectives: To assess the effect of vitamin D levels on prebronchodilator FEV1, bronchodilator response, and responsiveness to methacholine (PC20, provocative concentration of methacholine producing a 20% decline in FEV1) in patients with asthma treated with inhaled corticosteroids.
Methods: We measured 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in the serum of children with persistent asthma at the time of enrollment in the Childhood Asthma Management Program. We divided subjects into the vitamin D sufficiency (>30 ng/ml), insufficiency (20–30 ng/ml), and deficiency (<20 ng/ml) groups. Covariates included age, treatment, sex, body mass index, race, history of emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and season that vitamin D specimen was drawn. Our main outcome measures were change in prebronchodilator FEV1, bronchodilator response, and PC20 from enrollment to 8–12 months.
Measurements and Main Results: Of the 1,024 subjects, 663 (65%) were vitamin D sufficient, 260 (25%) were insufficient, and 101 (10%) were deficient. Vitamin D–deficient subjects were more likely to be older, African American, and have a higher body mass index compared with the vitamin D–sufficient and insufficient subjects. In the inhaled corticosteroid treatment group, prebronchodilator FEV1 increased from randomization to 12 months by 140 ml in the vitamin D–deficient group and prebronchodilator FEV1 increased by 330 ml in the vitamin D insufficiency group and by 290 ml in the vitamin D sufficiency group (P = 0.0072), in adjusted models.
Conclusions: In children with asthma treated with inhaled corticosteroids, vitamin D deficiency is associated with poorer lung function than in children with vitamin D insufficiency or sufficiency.
asthma; vitamin D; lung function; forced expiratory volume; children
In the USA and Europe, hypovitaminosis D is associated with increased asthma severity, emergency department (ED) visit, and impaired pulmonary function in asthmatic patients. However, in tropical countries, data on the effect of vitamin D status on asthma is limited. This study evaluates the relationship between vitamin D status and the level of asthma control as well as other asthmatic parameters.
Asthmatic children were evaluated for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, pulmonary function tests, a skin prick test, and the level of asthma control.
A total of 125 asthmatic children were recruited (boys, 66.4%). Their mean age±SD was 10.8±3.0 years. Vitamin D statuses were: deficiency (<20 ng/mL) in 19.2% of the patients, insufficiency (20-30 ng/mL) in 44.8%, and sufficiency (>30 ng/mL) in 36%. The vitamin D levels were 25.9±9.4 ng/mL in uncontrolled patients, 29.2±8.6 ng/mL in partly controlled patients, and 27.9±8.0 ng/mL in controlled patients (P>0.05). There were no significant differences in pulmonary function, asthma exacerbation, inhaled-corticosteroid (ICS) dose, anti-inflammatory drugs, or ED visit or hospitalization between different vitamin D statuses. Vitamin D deficiency patients were older and had a delayed onset of asthma than insufficiency or sufficiency patients. There was no significant correlation between serum vitamin D and pulmonary function/doses of ICS.
High prevalences of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were found in asthmatic children in Thailand; however, there was no significant relationship between vitamin D status and the level of asthma control or other asthma parameters.
Asthma; children; corticosteroid; 25-hydroxyvitamin D; vitamin D
It has recently been shown that vitamin D deficiency can increase asthma development and severity and that variations in vitamin D receptor genes are associated with asthma susceptibility.
We sought to find genetic factors that might interact with vitamin D levels to affect the risk of asthma exacerbation. Methods: We conducted a genome-wide study of gene–vitamin D interaction on asthma exacerbations using population-based and family-based approaches on 403 subjects and trios from the Childhood Asthma Management Program. Twenty-three polymorphisms with significant interactions were studied in a replication analysis in 584 children from a Costa Rican cohort. Results: We identified 3 common variants in the class I MHC–restricted T cell–associated molecule gene (CRTAM) that were associated with an increased rate of asthma exacerbations based on the presence of a low circulating vitamin D level. These results were replicated in a second independent population (unadjusted combined interaction, P =.00028–.00097; combined odds ratio, 3.28–5.38). One variant, rs2272094, is a nonsynonymous coding polymorphism of CRTAM. Functional studies on cell lines confirmed the interaction of vitamin D and rs2272094 on CRTAM expression. CRTAM is highly expressed in activated human CD8+ and natural killer T cells, both of which have been implicated in asthmatic patients.
The findings highlight an important gene-environment interaction that elucidates the role of vitamin D and CD8+ and natural killer T cells in asthma exacerbation in a genome-wide gene-environment interaction study that has been replicated in an independent population. The results suggest the potential importance of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels in subsets of high-risk asthmatic patients.
Gene-environment interaction; genome-wide association study; vitamin D; asthma exacerbation
The course of mild to moderate persistent asthma in children is not clearly established.
To determine the rate and predictors for remitting, periodic, and persistent asthma in adolescence.
The Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP) was a 4.3-year randomized, double-masked, multicenter trial in children with mild to moderate persistent asthma that compared continuous therapy with either budesonide or nedocromil, each to placebo, followed by 4 years observational follow-up period. Asthma activity during the observation period included remitting (no asthma activity in the last year), persistent (asthma activity in every quarter), and periodic asthma (neither remitting nor persistent).
Asthma was identified as remitting in 6%, periodic in 39%, and persistent in 55% of the 909 participants, with no effect noted from earlier anti-inflammatory treatment during the CAMP trial. Within all three asthma activity categories, improvements in airway hyperresponsiveness, eosinophilia, and asthma morbidity were observed over time. Features at entry into CAMP associated with remitting vs. persistent asthma were lack of allergen sensitization and exposure to indoor allergens [OR=3.23, p<0.001], milder asthma [OR=2.01, p=0.03], older age [OR=1.23, p=0.01], less airway hyperresponsiveness (higher log methacholine FEV1 PC20 [OR=1.39, p=0.03]), higher pre-bronchodilator FEV1 % predicted [OR=1.05, p=0.02], and lower FVC % predicted [OR=0.96, p=0.04].
Remission of asthma in adolescence is infrequent and not impacted by 4 years of anti-inflammatory controller therapy. Factors such as sensitization and exposure, low lung function, and airway greater hyperresponsiveness decrease the likelihood of remitting asthma.
Remission; Natural history; Persistent asthma
Vitamin D deficiency is becoming more apparent in many populations. Genetic factors may play a role in the maintenance of vitamin D levels. The objective of this study was to perform a genome-wide analysis (GWAS) of vitamin D levels, including replication of prior GWAS results. We measured 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels in serum collected at the time of enrollment and at year 4 in 572 Caucasian children with asthma, who were part of a multi-center clinical trial, the Childhood Asthma Management Program. Replication was performed in a second cohort of 592 asthmatics from Costa Rica and a third cohort of 516 Puerto Rican asthmatics. In addition, we attempted replication of three SNPs that were previously identified in a large GWAS of Caucasian individuals. The setting included data from a clinical trial of childhood asthmatics and two cohorts of asthmatics recruited for genetic studies of asthma. The main outcome measure was circulating 25(OH)D levels. The 25(OH)D levels at the two time-points were only modestly correlated with each other (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.33) in the CAMP population. We identified SNPs that were nominally associated with 25(OH)D levels at two time-points in CAMP, and replicated four SNPs in the Costa Rican cohort: rs11002969, rs163221, rs1678849, and rs4864976. However, these SNPs were not significantly associated with 25(OH)D levels in a third population of Puerto Rican asthmatics. We were able to replicate the SNP with the strongest effect, previously reported in a large GWAS: rs2282679 (GC), and we were able to replicate another SNP, rs10741657 (CYP2R1), to a lesser degree. We were able to replicate two of three prior significant findings in a GWAS of 25(OH)D levels. Other SNPs may be additionally associated with 25(OH)D levels in certain populations.
Rationale: Maternal vitamin D intake during pregnancy has been inversely associated with asthma symptoms in early childhood. However, no study has examined the relationship between measured vitamin D levels and markers of asthma severity in childhood.
Objectives: To determine the relationship between measured vitamin D levels and both markers of asthma severity and allergy in childhood.
Methods: We examined the relation between 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (the major circulating form of vitamin D) and markers of allergy and asthma severity in a cross-sectional study of 616 Costa Rican children between the ages of 6 and 14 years. Linear, logistic, and negative binomial regressions were used for the univariate and multivariate analyses.
Measurements and Main Results: Of the 616 children with asthma, 175 (28%) had insufficient levels of vitamin D (<30 ng/ml). In multivariate linear regression models, vitamin D levels were significantly and inversely associated with total IgE and eosinophil count. In multivariate logistic regression models, a log10 unit increase in vitamin D levels was associated with reduced odds of any hospitalization in the previous year (odds ratio [OR], 0.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.004–0.71; P = 0.03), any use of antiinflammatory medications in the previous year (OR, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.05–0.67; P = 0.01), and increased airway responsiveness (a ≤8.58-μmol provocative dose of methacholine producing a 20% fall in baseline FEV1 [OR, 0.15; 95% CI, 0.024–0.97; P = 0.05]).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that vitamin D insufficiency is relatively frequent in an equatorial population of children with asthma. In these children, lower vitamin D levels are associated with increased markers of allergy and asthma severity.
To determine whether long-term, continuous use of inhaled anti-inflammatory medications affects asthma outcomes in children with mild-moderate asthma after use is discontinued.
Of 1,041 participants in the Childhood Asthma Management Program randomized clinical trial, 941 (90%) were followed to determine whether 4.3 years of twice daily budesonide or nedocromil (each compared with placebo) affected subsequent asthma outcomes during a 4.8 year post-trial period in which treatment was managed by the participant's physician.
The groups treated continuously during the trial with either budesonide or nedocromil did not differ from placebo in lung function, control of asthma, or psychological status at the end of 4.8 years of post-trial follow-up; however, the decreased mean height in the budesonide group relative to the placebo group at the end of the trial (1.1 cm, P=0.005) remained statistically significant (0.9 cm, P=0.01) after an additional 4.8 years and was more pronounced in girls (1.7 cm; P=0.001) than boys (0.3 cm; P=0.49). Participants used inhaled corticosteroids during 30% of the post-trial period in all groups.
Clinically meaningful improvements in control of asthma and improvements in airway responsiveness achieved during continuous treatment with inhaled corticosteroids do not persist after continuous treatment is discontinued.
Little is known about vitamin D status and its effect on asthma pathophysiology in children with severe, therapy-resistant asthma (STRA).
Relationships between serum vitamin D, lung function, and pathology were investigated in pediatric STRA.
Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D3] was measured in 86 children (mean age, 11.7 yr): 36 with STRA, 26 with moderate asthma (MA), and 24 without asthma (control subjects). Relationships between 25(OH)D3, the asthma control test (ACT), spirometry, corticosteroid use, and exacerbations were assessed. Twenty-two of 36 children with STRA underwent fiberoptic bronchoscopy, bronchoalveolar lavage, and endobronchial biopsy with assessment of airway inflammation and remodeling.
Measurements and Main Results
25(OH)D3 levels (median [IQR]) were significantly lower in STRA (28 [22–38] nmol/L) than in MA (42.5 [29–63] nmol/L) and control subjects (56.5 [45–67] nmol/L) (P < 0.001). There was a positive relationship between 25(OH)D3 levels and percent predicted FEV1 (r = 0.4, P < 0.001) and FVC (r = 0.3, P = 0.002) in all subjects. 25(OH)D3 levels were positively associated with ACT (r = 0.6, P < 0.001), and inversely associated with exacerbations (r=−0.6, P < 0.001) and inhaled steroid dose (r=−0.39, P = 0.001) in MA and and STRA. Airway smooth muscle (ASM) mass, but not epithelial shedding or reticular basement membrane thickness, was inversely related to 25(OH)D3 levels (r=−0.6, P = 0.008). There was a positive correlation between ASM mass and bronchodilator reversibility (r = 0.6, P = 0.009) and an inverse correlation between ASM mass and ACT (r = −0.7, P < 0.001).
Lower vitamin D levels in children with STRA were associated with increased ASM mass and worse asthma control and lung function. The link between vitamin D, airway structure, and function suggests vitamin D supplementation may be useful in pediatric STRA.
vitamin D; asthma; remodeling; airway smooth muscle; pediatrics
The adverse effects of corticosteroids on bone mineral accretion (BMA) have been well documented. Vitamin D insufficiency, a prevalent condition in the pediatric population, has also been associated with decreased bone mineral density (BMD).
To determine whether children with asthma who have lower vitamin D levels are more susceptible to the negative effects of corticosteroids on BMD over time.
Children aged 5–12 years with mild-to-moderate asthma who participated in the Childhood Asthma Management Program were followed for a mean of 4.3 years. Total doses of inhaled and oral corticosteroids (OCS) were recorded, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels were measured at the beginning of the trial and serial DEXA scans of the lumbar spine were performed. Annual BMA rates were defined as: [(BMD at 4 years follow-up − BMD at baseline)/4 years].
BMA was calculated for 780 subjects. In boys, baseline vitamin D levels significantly modified the relationship between OCS and BMA (vitamin D x OCS interaction, p=0.023). Stratification by vitamin D levels showed a decrease in BMA with increased use of OCS in vitamin D insufficient boys only (p<0.001). Compared to vitamin D sufficient boys, vitamin D insufficient boys exposed to more than 2 courses of oral corticosteroids per year had twice the decrease in BMA rate (relative to boys who were OCS-unexposed).
Vitamin D levels significantly modified the effect of oral corticosteroids on bone mineral accretion in boys. Further research is needed to examine whether vitamin D supplementation in children with poorly controlled asthma may confer benefits to bone health.
Asthma; vitamin D; bone mineral density; corticosteroids
Non-classical actions of vitamin D as a cytokine are related to the immunopathology of asthma. Few studies have examined vitamin D levels and asthma severity in adults. The aim of this research was to assess the relationship between vitamin D levels, atopy markers, pulmonary function, and asthma severity.
We analyzed 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in serum collected from 121 asthmatic adults from Costa Rica to investigate the association between vitamin D levels (categorized as sufficient, ≥30 ng/mL, or insufficient, <30 ng/mL), allergic rhinitis, total IgE and peripheral blood eosinophils (as markers of atopy), asthma severity, baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), and forced vital capacity (FVC). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to assess these relationships.
When the population was stratified by vitamin D status, 91% of asthmatic patients with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/mL (n=36) and 74% of patients with vitamin D levels between 20 and 30 ng/mL (n=73) had severe asthma versus 50% of those with vitamin D sufficiency (n=12; P=0.02). Vitamin D insufficiency was associated with a higher risk of severe asthma (odds ratio [OR], 5.04; 95% Confidence interval [CI], 1.23-20.72; P=0.02). High vitamin D levels were associated with a lower risk of hospitalization or emergency department visit during the last year (OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.84-0.98; P=0.04). Although there appeared to be a direct relationship between vitamin D levels and FEV1 (regression coefficient=0.48; r2=0.03), it did not reach statistical significance (P=0.07).
Our findings suggest that vitamin D insufficiency is common among our cohort of asthmatic adults. Lower vitamin D levels are associated with asthma severity.
Adult; asthma; vitamin D
Pharmacogenetic studies of drug response in asthma assume that patients respond consistently to a treatment but that treatment response varies across patients, however, no formal studies have demonstrated this.
To determine the repeatability of commonly used outcomes for treatment response to asthma medications: bronchodilator response, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), and provocative concentration of methacholine producing a 20% decline in FEV1 (PC20).
The Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP) was a multi-center clinical trial of children randomized to receiving budesonide, nedocromil, or placebo. We determined the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for each outcome over repeated visits over four years in CAMP using mixed effects regression models. We adjusted for the covariates: age, race/ethnicity, height, family income, parental education, and symptom score. We incorporated each outcome for each child as repeated outcome measurements and stratified by treatment group.
The ICC for bronchodilator response was 0.31 in the budesonide group, 0.35 in the nedocromil group, and 0.40 in the placebo group, after adjusting for covariates. The ICC for FEV1 was 0.71 in the budesonide group, 0.60 in the nedocromil group, and 0.69 in the placebo group, after adjusting for covariates. The ICC for PC20 was 0.67 in the budesonide and placebo groups and 0.73 in the nedocromil group, after adjusting for covariates.
The within treatment group repeatability of FEV1 and PC20 are high; thus these phenotypes are heritable. FEV1 and PC20 may be better phenotypes than bronchodilator response for studies of treatment response in asthma.
asthma; drug response; heritability; bronchodilator; pharmacogenetics
Asthma and other allergic disorders have increased over the past decades in nearly all nations. Many studies have suggested the role of vitamin D deficiency in both T-helper1 and T-helper2 diseases; however, the association between vitamin D, allergy, and asthma remains uncertain. In this study, the associations of 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 levels with asthma and with the severity of asthma were evaluated.
This cross-sectional study was conducted on 50 asthmatic children and 50 healthy controls aged 6-18 years. Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 levels were determined and compared between the two groups. The relationship between serum vitamin D levels and pulmonary function test outcomes and eosinophil counts were examined in asthmatic patients.
Univariate analysis of the relationship between asthma and vitamin D showed that decreased vitamin D levels were associated with significantly increased odds of asthmatic state (P=0.002). In a multivariate analysis after adjustment for age, body mass index, and sex, the relationship between vitamin D and asthma increased. In asthmatic patients, 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels had direct and significant correlations with both predicted FEV1 (R2=0.318; P=0.024) and FEV1/FVC (R2=0.315; P=0.026). There were no associations between vitamin D level and eosinophil counts, duration of disease, and the number of hospitalization or unscheduled visits in the previous year (P>0.05).
These results showed that serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels were inversely associated with asthma, and there was a direct and significant relationship between vitamin D levels and pulmonary function test outcomes in asthmatic children. An interventional study in asthmatic patients with low serum vitamin D concentration may establish a causal relationship between asthma and vitamin D.
Asthma; vitamin D; allergy
Glucocorticoid function is dependent on efficient translocation of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) from the cytoplasm to the nucleus of cells. Importin-13 (IPO13) is a nuclear transport receptor that mediates nuclear entry of GR. In airway epithelial cells, inhibition of IPO13 expression prevents nuclear entry of GR and abrogates anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids. Impaired nuclear entry of GR has been documented in steroid-non-responsive asthmatics. We hypothesize that common IPO13 genetic variation influences the anti-inflammatory effects of inhaled corticosteroids for the treatment of asthma, as measured by change in methacholine airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR-PC20).
10 polymorphisms were evaluated in 654 children with mild-to-moderate asthma participating in the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP), a clinical trial of inhaled anti-inflammatory medications (budesonide and nedocromil). Population-based association tests with repeated measures of PC20 were performed using mixed models and confirmed using family-based tests of association.
Among participants randomized to placebo or nedocromil, IPO13 polymorphisms were associated with improved PC20 (i.e. less AHR), with subjects harboring minor alleles demonstrating an average 1.51–2.17 fold increase in mean PC20 at 8-months post-randomization that persisted over four years of observation (p = 0.01–0.005). This improvement was similar to that among children treated with long-term inhaled corticosteroids. There was no additional improvement in PC20 by IPO13 variants among children treated with inhaled corticosteroids.
IPO13 variation is associated with improved AHR in asthmatic children. The degree of this improvement is similar to that observed with long-term inhaled corticosteroid treatment, suggesting that IPO13 variation may improve nuclear bioavailability of endogenous glucocorticoids.
Purpose of Review
Over the past 2 years, the number of studies relating vitamin D deficiency and asthma and allergies has increased significantly. The purpose of this review is to update the last review in this journal and examine the evidence of the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and childhood asthma and allergies.
In the past 2 years since the last review, there have been many studies, both cross-sectional and prospective, that have investigated the effects of vitamin D on the inception and severity of asthma and allergies. Most, but not all, studies have shown that low vitamin D levels increase the risk for asthma and allergies, but a few suggest an increased risk with high levels. Results from small trials of short duration suggest that vitamin D supplementation decreases severity of eczema and decreases the risk for asthma exacerbations.
Data that vitamin D deficiency results in increased risks for asthma and allergies continues to accumulate. However, the optimal level of vitamin D that decrease both the risk for development and severity of these disorders remains elusive. Results of ongoing clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation will be needed before recommendations can be firmly established.
asthma; vitamin D; allergies; wheeze
Multiple issues bear on effective control of childhood asthma.
To identify factors related to the level of asthma control in children receiving asthma care from community pediatricians.
Patients and Methods
Data for 362 children participating in an intervention study to reduce asthma morbidity were collected by telephone administered questionnaire. Level of asthma control (“well controlled,” partially controlled,” or “poorly controlled”) was derived from measures of recent impairment (symptoms, activity limitations, albuterol use) and the number of exacerbations in a 12 month period. Data also included demographic characteristics, asthma-related quality of life, pediatric management practices, and medication usage. Univariable and multivariable analyses were used to identify factors associated with poor asthma control and to explore the relationship between control and use of daily controller medications.
Asthma was “well controlled” for 24% of children, “partially controlled” for 20%, and “poorly controlled” for 56%. Medicaid insurance (p=0.016), the presence of another family member with asthma (p=0.0168), and outside the home maternal employment, (p=0.025), were significant univariable factors associated with poor asthma control. Medicaid insurance had an independent association with poor control (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.28-0.9). Seventy-six percent of children were reported by parents as receiving a daily controller medication. Comparison of guidelines recommended controller medication with level of control indicated that a higher step level of medication would have been appropriate for 74% of these children. Significantly lower overall quality of life scores were observed in both parents and children with poor control. (ANOVA, p<0.05)
Despite substantial use of daily controller medication, children with asthma continue to experience poorly controlled asthma and reduced quality of life. While Medicaid insurance and aspects of family structure are significant factors associated with poorly controlled asthma, attention to medication use and quality of life indicators may further reduce morbidity.
Childhood asthma; asthma control; asthma outcomes
Background: There is a lack of clinical evidence that annual vaccination against influenza prevents asthma exacerbations in children.
Methods: Retrospective cohort study of 800 children with asthma, where one half did, and the other half did not receive the influenza vaccine. The two groups were compared with respect to clinic visits, emergency department (ED) visits, and hospitalisations for asthma. In multivariable analyses, adjustment was made for baseline asthma severity, prior utilisation of health services, receipt of vaccine in the previous year, and demographic variables.
Results: After adjusting for other variables, the vaccine group had a significantly increased risk of asthma related clinic visits and ED visits (odds ratios 3.4 and 1.9, respectively).
Conclusion: This study failed to provide evidence that the influenza vaccine prevents paediatric asthma exacerbations.
guidelines on the treatment of childhood asthma recommend the
introduction of an anti-inflammatory drug in children who have
persistent symptoms and require regular treatment with a
bronchodilator. The efficacy and safety of inhaled nedocromil sodium
(Tilade Mint aerosol) administered using a Fisonair spacer at a dose of
4 mg three times daily was compared with placebo in the treatment of
asthmatic children aged 6-12 years who are symptomatic and recovering
from an acute exacerbation of asthma.
comparative, double blind, placebo controlled trial was performed
in children who were recovering from an
acute episode of asthma following treatment in the emergency department
of the hospital or in children referred from their general practitioner following a wheezing episode and documented evidence of at least two
previous episodes of wheezing. A two week baseline period on existing
bronchodilator treatment was followed by a 12 week treatment period on
either nedocromil sodium (2 mg/puff) or placebo. Both treatments were
administered using a Fisonair spacer at a dose of two puffs three times
daily. Changes from baseline values in daytime asthma and night time
asthma symptom scores, usage of rescue bronchodilators, mean peak
expiratory flow (PEF) recorded twice daily on diary cards, patients'
opinion of treatment, and withdrawals due to treatment failure
were measured during the primary treatment period
(last six weeks of treatment).
and forty two children aged 6-12 years entered the baseline period.
Sixty three were withdrawn due to failure to meet the entry criteria
(18) or the criteria for asthma symptom severity (15) or reversibility
(9), because they developed uncontrolled asthma (2), because they took
disallowed treatment (2), or for other non-trial related reasons (17).
Seventy nine patients (46boys) of mean age 8.8 years entered the
treatment period. There were significant differences in the changes
from baseline values during the last six weeks of treatment in favour
of nedocromil sodium compared with placebo in the primary variables of
daytime asthma and night time asthma, morning and evening PEF, and the usage of rescue inhaled bronchodilators; 53% of patients reported nedocromil sodium to be very or moderately effective compared with 44%
placebo. Improvement in asthma symptoms, PEF, and reduction in use of
rescue bronchodilators did not reach statistical significance until
after six weeks of treatment. Twenty two patients were withdrawn or
dropped out during the treatment phase, 12 due to uncontrolled asthma
or persistence of asthma symptoms, four due to suspected adverse drug
reactions (nedocromil sodium 3 (headaches 2, angio-oedema/urticaria 1),
placebo 1(persistent cough)), and six due to non-treatment related
reasons. Seventy one adverse events were reported by 27patients in the
nedocromil group and 75 by 30 patients in the placebo group.
symptoms, use of bronchodilators, and lung function can be improved
significantly in children recovering from an acute exacerbation of
asthma or wheeze and currently receiving treatment with bronchodilators
alone by the addition of inhaled nedocromil sodium at a dose of 4 mg
three times daily administered using a Fisonair holding chamber.
Rationale: Vitamin D insufficiency (a serum 25(OH)D <30 ng/ml) has been associated with severe asthma exacerbations, but this could be explained by underlying racial ancestry or disease severity. Little is known about vitamin D and asthma in Puerto Ricans.
Objectives: To examine whether vitamin D insufficiency is associated with severe asthma exacerbations in Puerto Rican children, independently of racial ancestry, atopy, and time outdoors.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted of 560 children ages 6–14 years with (n = 287) and without (n = 273) asthma in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We measured plasma vitamin D and estimated the percentage of African racial ancestry among participants using genome-wide genotypic data. We tested whether vitamin D insufficiency is associated with severe asthma exacerbations, lung function, or atopy (greater than or equal to one positive IgE to allergens) using logistic or linear regression. Multivariate models were adjusted for African ancestry, time outdoors, atopy, and other covariates.
Measurements and Main Results: Vitamin D insufficiency was common in children with (44%) and without (47%) asthma. In multivariate analyses, vitamin D insufficiency was associated with higher odds of greater than or equal to one severe asthma exacerbation in the prior year (odds ratio [OR], 2.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5–4.9; P = 0.001) and atopy, and a lower FEV1/FVC in cases. After stratification by atopy, the magnitude of the association between vitamin D insufficiency and severe exacerbations was greater in nonatopic (OR, 6.2; 95% CI, 2–21.6; P = 0.002) than in atopic (OR, 2; 95% CI, 1–4.1; P = 0.04) cases.
Conclusions: Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with severe asthma exacerbations in Puerto Rican children, independently of racial ancestry, atopy, or markers of disease severity or control.
vitamin D; asthma exacerbations; Puerto Ricans; childhood
We previously found a significant benefit of vitamin C supplementation in asthmatic children.
To test whether the effect of vitamin C on asthma is heterogeneous over the participant population.
Egyptian asthmatic children between 7 and 10 years of age (n = 60) were included in the cross-over trial. They were administered 0.2 grams per day of vitamin C and placebo for separate 6-week periods. The variation in the vitamin C effect on two clinically relevant outcomes was analyzed: the childhood asthma control test (C-ACT), which measures the severity of asthma symptoms (the scale ranges from 0 to 27 points, < 20 points indicating unsatisfactory asthma control), and FEV1. We used linear modeling to examine the variation of the vitamin C effect in the subgroups.
The effect of vitamin C on the C-ACT was significantly modified by age and baseline C-ACT levels. In the children aged 7.0-8.2 years with a baseline C-ACT of 18 to 19 points, vitamin C increased the C-ACT score by 4.2 points (95% CI: 3.3-5.3); whereas in the children aged 8.3-10 years who had a baseline C-ACT of 14 to 15 points, vitamin C increased the C-ACT score by only 1.3 points (95% CI: 0.1-2.5). The effect of vitamin C on the FEV1 levels was significantly modified by age and exposure to dampness. In the children aged 7.0-8.2 years with no exposure to dampness, vitamin C increased the FEV1 level by 37% (95% CI: 34-40%), whereas in the children aged 8.3-10 years with exposure to dampness or mold in their bedroom more than one year prior to the study, vitamin C increased the FEV1 level by only 21% (95% CI: 18-25%).
We found strong evidence that the effect of vitamin C on asthmatic children is heterogeneous. Further research is needed to confirm our findings and identify the groups of children who would receive the greatest benefit from vitamin C supplementation.
age factors; ascorbic acid; asthma; child; effect modifiers; forced expiratory volume; obstructive lung diseases; quality of life; controlled trials
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with markers for allergy and asthma severity in children with asthma. However, its association with Chinese adult asthmatics has not been studied.
To examine whether vitamin D status is associated with lung function and total serum IgE in Chinese adults with newly diagnosed asthma.
We conducted a cross-sectional study including 435 Chinese patients aged >18 years with newly diagnosed asthma. Vitamin D status was assessed by measuring serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) concentrations. The primary outcomes included airflow limitation, as measured by the forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), FEV1 % predicted, and FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC), and serum total IgE concentration.
Vitamin D deficiency was prevalent in Chinese adults with asthma, with 88.9% of the subjects having 25OHD <50 nmol/l. Serum 25OHD concentration was positively correlated with FEV1 % predicted (p = 0.02, r = 0.12). After adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, smoking, month of blood collection, and symptom duration, we found significant positive associations between 25OHD concentrations and FEV1 (in liters), FEV1 % predicted, and FEV1/FVC (p for trend < 0.05 for all). The adjusted odds ratios for the highest versus the lowest 25OHD quartile were 0.50 (0.26–0.96) for FEV1 <75% predicted and 0.44 (0.20–0.95) for FEV1/FVC% <0.75. There was no significant association between 25OHD concentrations and total IgE.
Vitamin D deficiency was highly prevalent in Chinese asthma patients, and vitamin D status was associated with lung function.
Vitamin D; Asthma; Lung function; FEV1; IgE
Studies exploring the relationship between prenatal vitamin D exposure and childhood asthma have yielded conflicting results. Higher vitamin D intake during pregnancy has been shown to lower the risk of childhood wheeze, yet a study of maternal late-pregnancy serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D suggested higher serum concentrations may be associated with increased childhood asthma.
To assess the relationship between mothers’ serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status and asthma and wheeze phenotypes in their children at age 6 years. Secondly, to explore the relationship between maternal 25-hydroxyvitamin D status and objective measures of childhood atopy and lung function.
Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D was measured at 34 weeks’ gestation in the mothers of 860 children born at term. Wheeze was classified as either transient or persistent/late using questionnaire data collated from 6, 12, 24 and 36 months and 6 years. At 6 years spirometry was performed and atopic status was determined by skin prick testing, exhaled nitric oxide was measured in 451 and bronchial hyperresponsiveness in 216 children.
There were no significant associations between maternal late-pregnancy 25-hydroxyvitamin D status and either asthma or wheeze at age 6 years. Maternal vitamin D status was not associated with transient or persistent/late wheeze; no significant association was found between persistent/late wheeze when subdivided according to atopic status. No associations were found with skin sensitisation or lung function.
This study provides no evidence that exposure to higher concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in maternal serum during late pregnancy increases the risk of childhood asthma, wheeze or atopy.
asthma epidemiology; asthma; paediatric asthma
Background: In the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, and surrounding parishes (NOLA), children with asthma were perilously impacted by Hurricane Katrina as a result of disrupted health care, high home mold and allergen levels, and high stress.
Objectives: The Head-off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana (HEAL) study was conducted to examine relationships between the post-Katrina environment and childhood asthma in NOLA and assess a novel asthma counselor intervention that provided case management and guidance for reducing home mold and allergen levels.
Methods: Children (4–12 years old) with moderate-to-severe asthma were recruited from NOLA schools. Over 1 year, they received two clinical evaluations, three home environmental evaluations, and the asthma intervention. Quarterly end points included symptom days, medication use, and unscheduled emergency department or clinic visits. A community advisory group was assembled and informed HEAL at all phases.
Results: Of the children (n = 182) enrolled in HEAL, 67% were African American, and 25% came from households with annual incomes < $15,000. HEAL children were symptomatic, averaging 6.6 symptom days in the 2 weeks before baseline, and had frequent unscheduled visits to clinics or emergency departments (76% had at least one unscheduled visit in the preceding 3 months). In this report, we describe study design and baseline characteristics of HEAL children.
Conclusions: Despite numerous challenges faced by investigators, study staff, and participants, including destroyed infrastructure, disrupted lives, and lost jobs, HEAL was successful in terms of recruitment and retention, the high quality of data collected that will provide insight into asthma-allergen relationships, and the asthma intervention. This success was attributable to using an adaptive approach and refining processes as needed.
asthma; asthma case management; asthma counselor; environmental intervention; Hurricane Katrina; indoor allergens; mold
There is little knowledge about clinical variables associated with vitamin D (vitD) insufficiency in asthmatic children.
To investigate disease variables associated with vitD insufficiency in childhood asthma and interaction of vitD with corticosteroid-mediated anti-inflammatory responses.
We analyzed 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum levels in 100 asthmatic children to investigate relationships between 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and patient characteristics. We determined vitD effects on dexamethasone (DEX) induction of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 (MKP-1) and IL-10 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).
The median 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum level was 31 ng/mL. 47% of subjects had vitD levels in the insufficient range (<30 ng/mL), while 17% were vitD deficient (<20 ng/mL). Log10 IgE (p=0.01, ρ=−0.25) and the number of positive aeroallergen skin prick tests (p=0.02, ρ=−0.23) showed a significant inverse correlation with vitD, whereas FEV1% predicted (p =0.004, ρ=0.34) and FEV1/FVC ratio (p=0.01, ρ=0.30) showed a significant positive correlation with vitD. The use of inhaled steroids (p=0.0475), oral steroids (p=0.02), and total steroid dose (p=0.001), all showed significant inverse correlations with vitD. The amount of MKP-1 and IL-10 mRNA induced by vitD plus DEX was significantly greater than that induced by DEX alone (p<0.01). In an experimental model of steroid resistance where DEX alone did not inhibit T cell proliferation, addition of vitD to DEX resulted in significant dose dependent suppression of cell proliferation.
Corticosteroid use and worsening airflow limitation is associated with lower vitD serum levels in asthmatics. VitD enhances glucocorticoid action in asthmatic PBMC and enhances the immunosuppressive function of DEX in vitro.
Our study suggests that vitD supplementation may potentiate anti-inflammatory function of corticosteroids in asthmatics and thereby improve asthma control.
vitamin D; children; asthma
The use of inhaled glucocorticoids for persistent asthma causes a temporary reduction in growth velocity in prepubertal children. The resulting decrease in attained height 1 to 4 years after the initiation of inhaled glucocorticoids is thought not to decrease attained adult height.
We measured adult height in 943 of 1041 participants (90.6%) in the Childhood Asthma Management Program; adult height was determined at a mean (±SD) age of 24.9±2.7 years. Starting at the age of 5 to 13 years, the participants had been randomly assigned to receive 400 μg of budesonide, 16 mg of nedocromil, or placebo daily for 4 to 6 years. We calculated differences in adult height for each active treatment group, as compared with placebo, using multiple linear regression with adjustment for demographic characteristics, asthma features, and height at trial entry.
Mean adult height was 1.2 cm lower (95% confidence interval [CI], −1.9 to −0.5) in the budesonide group than in the placebo group (P = 0.001) and was 0.2 cm lower (95% CI, −0.9 to 0.5) in the nedocromil group than in the placebo group (P = 0.61). A larger daily dose of inhaled glucocorticoid in the first 2 years was associated with a lower adult height (−0.1 cm for each microgram per kilogram of body weight) (P = 0.007). The reduction in adult height in the budesonide group as compared with the placebo group was similar to that seen after 2 years of treatment (−1.3 cm; 95% CI, −1.7 to −0.9). During the first 2 years, decreased growth velocity in the budesonide group occurred primarily in prepubertal participants.
The initial decrease in attained height associated with the use of inhaled glucocorticoids in prepubertal children persisted as a reduction in adult height, although the decrease was not progressive or cumulative.
To evaluate phenotypic and genetic variables associated with a poor long-term response to inhaled corticosteroid therapy for asthma, based independently on lung function changes or asthma exacerbations.
Materials & methods
We tested 17 phenotypic variables and polymorphisms in FCER2 and CRHR1 in 311 children (aged 5–12 years) randomized to a 4-year course of inhaled corticosteroid during the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP).
Predictors of recurrent asthma exacerbations are distinct from predictors of poor lung function response. A history of prior asthma exacerbations, younger age and a higher IgE level (p < 0.05) are associated with recurrent exacerbations. By contrast, lower bronchodilator response to albuterol and the minor alleles of RS242941 in CRHR1 and T2206C in FCER2 (p < 0.05) are associated with poor lung function response. Poor lung function response does not increase the risk of exacerbations and vice versa (p = 0.72).
Genetic and phenotypic predictors of a poor long-term response to inhaled corticosteroids differ markedly depending on definition of outcome (based on exacerbations vs lung function). These findings are important in comparing outcomes of clinical trials and in designing future pharmacogenetic studies.
asthma; corticosteroid; exacerbation; lung function; pharmacogenetics