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.