Efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in the treatment of severe pneumonia in children aged less than five years

Rajshekhar C. S., Raghavendra Vanaki, Ashok V. Badakali, Ramesh R. Pol, Yelamali B. C.


Background: Vitamin D supplementation is useful in preventing respiratory tract infections, but there is no clear evidence to support the therapeutic efficacy of vitamin D in acute pneumonia.

Methods: This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in addition to routine treatment of severe pneumonia in children less than 5 years of age. Vitamin D was supplemented at a dose of 1000 IU and 2000 IU for children <1 year and for children >1 year, respectively. Equal number of children received placebo.

Results: The primary outcome was the time to resolution of severe pneumonia. Hurried breathing was present in 87.5% of drug group children and 43% of placebo group children (the difference was not significant, p=0.74).Cyanosis was present in 12.5% of children in the vitamin D group and 8.3% in children in the placebo group, with no significant difference between the treatment groups (p=0.50). Poor oral intake was reported in 22.9% cases of vitamin D group and 33.3% in placebo group.

Conclusions: Short-term supplementation with vitamin D failed to show any evidence of improvement in resolution of severe pneumonia in children under the age of five.


Vitamin D, Children, Severe pneumonia, Respiratory tract infections, Mortality

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