Navigation Links
Low vitamin D causes problems for acutely ill patients
Date:4/30/2009

A group of endocrinologists in Sydney have observed that very sick patients tend to have very low levels of Vitamin D. The sicker they are, the lower the levels.

Dr Paul Lee, Professor John Eisman and Associate Professor Jackie Center, researchers at Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research, examined a cohort of 42 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients. Forty-five percent turned out to be Vitamin D deficient.

These findings will be published as a letter in the April 30, 2009 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Until now, the medical community has thought of Vitamin D deficiency as a chronic condition," said Dr Lee. "Little is known about its acute complications."

"Last year, we published several cases showing that Vitamin D deficiency can cause acute complications in the intensive care unit."

"Recently, Vitamin D has been recognised for its many roles beyond the musculoskeletal system. It has been implicated in diabetes, in the immune system, in cancers, in heart disease and in metabolic syndrome."

"Vitamin D appears to have roles in controlling sugar, calcium, heart function, gut integrity, immunity and defence against infection. Patients in ICU suffer from different degrees of inflammation, infection, heart dysfunction, diarrhoea and metabolic dysregulation so vitamin D deficiency may play a role in each of these common ICU conditions."

"So we did a preliminary study and found that 45% of people in our ICU were Vitamin D deficient. There may be a bias, in that all patients were referred to endocrinology, so the numbers may not reflect the prevalence in a standard ICU cohort. However 45% is still a significant proportion.

When the team correlated the Vitamin D levels with a disease severity score, there was a direct correspondence between sickness and Vitamin D deficiency. In other words, the sicker someone was, the lower the levels of Vitamin D. Out of the 42 patients studied, there were 3 deaths. The 3 patients who died all had the lowest level of Vitamin D in the cohort.

"Perhaps when we are well, we have ways to compensate for organ dysfunction if we run low on Vitamin D," said Lee.

"But when we are very sick, the "sick organs" draw upon any vitamin D available to function properly, therefore we may need extra Vitamin D to maintain organ function during critical illness. However, at this stage, we don't know whether Vitamin D deficiency is just a marker of ill health, or whether it contributes to disease severity."

Lee believes that the study, while preliminary, is important because it highlights the fact that Vitamin D deficiency is common in intensive care units and is associated with disease severity.

The next step will be a randomised control study to investigate whether Vitamin D has benefits in critically ill patients. In simple terms, two groups of patients (who are evenly matched) will be treated, with Vitamin D added to the treatment of one group, but not the other. The outcomes will then be compared.

So should doctors be trying to raise the Vitamin D levels of their patients in the meantime?

Dr Lee hopes the randomised study may provide a more definitive answer to the question. "However, Vitamin D is very safe. It's inexpensive and has a very large safety window, making toxicity unlikely, unless there are underlying diseases causing high calcium. Giving vitamin D to severely deficient patients is very unlikely to cause harm. In addition, ICU patients are lying in bed for a long time, and are at risk of bone loss and osteoporosis. So if nothing else, Vitamin D will help protect their bones."


'/>"/>

Contact: Alison Heather
a.heather@garvan.org.au
61-292-958-128
Research Australia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
2. New Medical Study Establishes First-Ever Long-Term Benefits for Macular Degeneration Sufferers Using Macular Health Vitamin Supplement
3. Type of vitamin B1 could treat common cause of blindness
4. Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
5. Low Vitamin E, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
6. Hero Nutritionals Launches its New "Vitamin D3 Formula of Slice of Life Gummy Vitamins for Adults."
7. Amoena Introduces First Post Surgical Garments With Vitamin E & Aloe to Help Soothe and Comfort After Breast Surgery
8. ConsumerLab.com Warns of Problems with Mulitivitamins and Vitamin Water
9. Enzyme and vitamin define the yin and yang of asthma
10. Vitamin D Deficiency Has Emerged as a Silent Epidemic
11. Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/4/2016)... , ... May 04, 2016 , ... May kicked off ... people across the United States. Dermatologist Dr. Ellen Turner is encouraging her patients, as ... advice and focus on skin safety and health now and in the future. , ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... , ... Recognizing that lifestyle medicine is essential to health and healthcare, ... Katz, MD, MPH, president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, as their first ... gratifying,” said Katz. “There is so much opportunity to add years to lives, and ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Bayco Products has announced the introduction of ... in models NSP-9842XL and NSR-9844XL . , First previewed at SHOT Show ... included CR-123 batteries to produce up to 650 lumens in a variety of ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 – (PRWEB) May 04, 2016 ... products, today revealed the non-toxic benefits of its Tutti Frutti line ... teething pain is just part of the story. These food-grade, silicone ... PVC-, and phthalate-free. , “Many baby toys contain BPA, harmful ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Fertility Centers of New England announced today the opening of ... Center provides convenient access to care for patients seeking fertility treatment in Maine. “We ... Comprehensive Care in Portland,” said Fertility Centers of New England President and CEO, Joseph ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... May 4, 2016 Valeritas Holdings, ... an alternative public offering (APO). This was accomplished via ... Valeritas, Inc. and a private placement of approximately 5 ... per share. Under the terms of the ... Valeritas Holdings, Inc. will trade on the OTC Markets ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... 2016 Research and ... Acute lymphocytic Leukemia Market and Competitive Landscape ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ... Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, provides ... products, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia epidemiology, Acute Lymphocytic ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  As a teenager, an active and athletic ... damaged his heart. He continued enjoying sports and recreation ... Shepherd,s heart was giving out and he was a ... 2013, the Mesa, Arizona resident ... a heart transplant, the SynCardia TAH-t is the only ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: