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  1. Elizabeth Batalla-Duran
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elizabeth Batalla-Duran, ST5 Respiratory, Torbay Hospital, Lawes Bridge, Torquay TQ2 7AA, UK; ebatalla-duran{at}nhs.net

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Vitamin D deficiency and exercise capacity in COPD patients

Vitamin D is emerging as a possible factor in airways inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with deficiency thought to contribute to worsening lung function in COPD patients. A Korean study in Respiration (doi:10.1159/000445266) looked at whether vitamin D deficiency was associated with a more rapid decline in exercise capacity in male COPD patients. Multivariate analysis showed vitamin D deficiency was independently associated with a rapid decline in exercise capacity. The decrease in 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) in patients with severe vitamin D deficiency was more prominent (23.1 m/year) and the number of patients with moderate-to-severe deficiency was significantly higher in the rapid decliners (p=0.002). Vitamin D levels were significantly higher in those patients whose exercise capacity improved over the 3 years compared with those with no change or a decline. Studies are needed to ascertain if supplementation with vitamin D in those with deficiency would benefit the patient in terms of exercise capacity.

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