Acute exacerbations are recognized as the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with asthma. Viral upper respiratory infections are the most common precipitants, but interventions to prevent these are lacking. Observational studies report associations between vitamin D deficiency and susceptibility to upper respiratory infection in diverse populations; these associations are particularly strong in patients with asthma, among whom vitamin D deficiency is common. There is therefore considerable interest in the potential of vitamin D supplementation as a treatment to improve asthma morbidity and in particular to prevent exacerbations.
The aims of this PhD are to complete a Cochrane review of the effects of vitamin D supplementation on asthma, and to carry out pilot feasibility work for trials of supplementation in a) children with asthma, and b) children with pre-school wheeze.
Funded by Queen Mary University of London