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Vitamin D deficiency and the asthma epidemic
  1. S O Shaheen
  1. Dr S O Shaheen, Respiratory Epidemiology and Public Health Group, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Emmanuel Kaye Building, Manresa Road, London SW3 6LR, UK; s.shaheen{at}

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The enthusiastic editorial by Weiss and Litonjua (Thorax 2007;62:745–6) may have left some readers with the impression that a single cause of the rise in asthma, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes in the West has now been discovered, namely vitamin D deficiency, and that primary prevention of asthma and autoimmune disease is just around the corner. Indeed, their bold conclusion portrays vitamin D supplementation as a likely panacea for many ills worldwide.

Weiss and Litonjua argue that …

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