-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
FRIDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D is important for
the health of lung transplant patients, a new study suggests.
Researchers from Loyola University Health System in Chicago
found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increase in
lung transplant rejection and infections.
"Patients who undergo lung transplants are at risk for rejecting the organ, and two-thirds of these patients are vitamin D deficient," Dr. Erin Lowery, the study's first author and assistant professor in the department of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said in a health system news release.
For the study, researchers examined 102 lung transplant
patients. The participants had their vitamin D levels checked
within 100 days of their surgery or 100 days after the
Normal vitamin D levels were found in 21 patients, but 81
transplant recipients were deficient. The rejection rate in the
deficient group was more than twice as high as the group with
adequate levels of vitamin D. The deficient group also had more
than twice as many infections, and their mortality rate was nearly
five times higher one year post-transplant.
The study authors said 52 percent of the transplant patients
received a vitamin D supplement before their surgery. One year
later, 75 patients had normal levels of the nutrient and 27 did
"Given the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in lung transplant patients and the growing evidence that this supplement helps the immune system tolerate the organ, optimal levels of vitamin D are critical for positive outcomes in these patients," Lowery said.
The study was published recently in the
Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation.
The body uses sunlight to make vitamin D. Other sources include
dairy products and fatty fish, such as tuna and salmon, and
The U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements provides more information
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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