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Vitamin D deficiency increases rejection rates in lung transplant patients

Posted on: April 24, 2012   by  Vitamin D Council


A recent study published in the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation reports low vitamin D levels are associated with increased rejection and infections after lung transplantation.

Erin Lowery, MD, and colleagues also found that patients who remained deficient for more than 1 year following the transplant had a higher mortality rate than those who were not deficient.

The researchers followed 102 patients who underwent a lung transplant and had vitamin D levels tested within 100 days prior or following the surgery.

Eighty-one patients were deficient, the remaining 21 had sufficient levels. The authors found that the rejection-rate in the deficient group was more than double that of the non-deficient group.

The authors report,

“The mortality rate of recipients who remained 25(OH)D-deficient 1 year after transplant was almost 5-fold higher than in recipients who were not 25(OH)D-deficient…”

They suggest supplementation both before and after for lung transplant patients in the future.


Lowery EM, et al. Low vitamin D levels are associated with increased rejection and infection after lung transplantation. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. March 2012.

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