September 25, 2013
Acute Otitis Media Reduced With Recommended
Vitamin D Levels

Denver—The risk of acute otitis media (AOM) was reduced in vitamin D (VD) deficient children when they received supplementation, according to a study presented at a recent conference.

The research, “Vitamin D Supplementation Reduces the Risk of Acute Otitis Media in Otitis-Prone Children,” which was presented recently at the Interscience Conference on Anti-Microbial Agents and Chemotherapy and also published ahead of print this spring in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, was conducted by researchers from the Universit√† degli Studi in Milan, Italy.

“VD may modulate the incidence and severity of bacterial and viral infections,” the authors suggest. “This study has evaluated whether a deficit in VD is associated with an increased risk of recurrent AOM (rAOM), and whether VD supplementation could reduce the number of AOM cases in otitis-prone children.”

The study involved a group of 116 children with rAOM, defined as three or more episodes in the preceding 6 months or four or more episodes in the preceding 12 months. Researchers randomized the subjects into two equal groups, receiving either 1,000 IU/day of oral VD or placebo for 4 months, with acute otitis media episodes monitored for 6 months.

Most of the participants, average age just under 3 years, had VD blood concentrations just under the recommended 30 ng/mL.

The number of children experiencing one or more AOM episodes during the study period was significantly lower in the group reducing VD supplementation (26 vs. 38; P = 0.03). While the results indicated a notable difference in the number of children who developed uncomplicated AOM (P < 0.001), no significant variance was detected in the number of participants with one or more episode of spontaneous otorrhea.

“VD hypovitaminosis is common in children with rAOM and associated with an increase in the occurrence of AOM when serum 25(OH)D levels are <30 ng/mL,” the authors write. “The administration of VD in a dosage of 1,000 IU/day restores serum values of ≥30 ng/mL in most cases and is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of uncomplicated AOM.”

U.S. Pharmacist Social Connect