A new study published by the journal Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases found that low vitamin D status is associated with the development of acute eosinophilic pneumonia.
Acute eosinophilic pneumonia (AEP) is an uncommon disorder in which eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, rapidly accumulates in the lungs. Eosinophils typically gather in reaction to the presence of allergens, inflammation or infection. Individuals with AEP may experience shortness of breath, cold, fatigue, fever and acute respiratory failure.
Recent research has discovered a link between low vitamin D status and the development of various respiratory conditions, including community acquired pneumonia (CAP) and pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB), a bacterial infection commonly affecting the lungs.
Despite these findings, no studies have evaluated the relationship between vitamin D status and AEP. Therefore, researchers hoped to determine if low vitamin D status is associated with the development of AEP.
The researchers included 65 young male patients from the South Korean military with AEP, PTB or CAP from May through August of 2014. They measured vitamin D status in all patients prior to the treatment of their respiratory diseases. Individuals were considered vitamin D deficient if their 25(OH)D levels were less than 10 ng/ml (25nmol/l) and vitamin D insufficient if their levels were between 10-30 ng/ml (25-75 nmol/l).
Results from this study showed that 79% of AEP patients had low vitamin D status, with 71% vitamin D insufficient and 8% vitamin D deficient. There was no significant difference in vitamin D status between the AEP, CAP and PTB patients.
The researchers reported,
“In the present study, we compared the vitamin D status among South Korean military personnel with AEP, PTB, and CAP. Most patients with AEP (n=19, 79%) had insufficient or deficient serum total 25(OH)D levels, and the serum levels of both 25(OH)D3 and 25(OH)D2 in patients with AEP were as low as those of patients with PTB and CAP, without significant differences.”