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Thorax 66:692-698 doi:10.1136/thx.2010.155234
  • Epidemiology
  • Original article

Relationship of vitamin D status to adult lung function and COPD

  1. Elaine M Dennison2
  1. 1Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  2. 2MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  3. 3Centre for Diabetes, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  4. 4Infection, Inflammation and Immunity, University of Southampton School of Medicine, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Seif O Shaheen, Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, 2 Newark Street, Whitechapel, London E1 2AT, UK; s.shaheen{at}qmul.ac.uk
  1. Contributors SOS contributed to the analysis, interpreted the data and wrote the first draft and revised the paper. KAJ and HES analysed the data. AA-S, ED and CC were responsible for the design of the Hertfordshire Cohort Study and data collection. SMR was responsible for the collection and analysis of dietary data. JWH was responsible for the collection of genetic data. All authors contributed to the final version of the manuscript.

  • Received 10 November 2010
  • Accepted 21 April 2011
  • Published Online First 8 June 2011

Abstract

Background There is considerable interest in the possible role of vitamin D in respiratory disease, but only one population-based study has reported associations with lung function.

Methods The cross-sectional relationships of total dietary vitamin D intake, serum 25 hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and three vitamin D receptor (VDR) polymorphisms (Apa1, Fok1 and Cdx2) with lung function and spirometrically-defined chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were investigated in men and women aged 59–73 years in the Hertfordshire Cohort Study, UK.

Results After controlling for confounders, total vitamin D intake was positively associated with forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1; difference in FEV1 between top and bottom quintiles of intake 0.079 l (95% CI 0.02 to 0.14), p trend=0.007, n=2942), ratio of FEV1 to forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC; p trend=0.008) and negatively associated with COPD (OR comparing top and bottom quintiles 0.57 (95% CI 0.38 to 0.87), p trend=0.02). In contrast, serum 25(OH)D concentrations were not related to FEV1 (p trend=0.89, n=1197) but were positively associated with COPD (p trend=0.046). VDR genotypes were unrelated to lung function and did not modify the effects of dietary intake or 25(OH)D concentrations on lung function.

Conclusions The results of this study did not confirm a positive association between blood 25(OH)D concentrations and adult lung function. The apparent relationships with dietary vitamin D are likely to be explained by other highly correlated nutrients in the diet.

Footnotes

  • Funding The study was funded by the MRC, UK.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire local research ethics committee and the West Hertfordshire local research ethics committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.