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P47 - Does vitamin D status in childhood modify risk for asthma development by altering susceptibility to severe respiratory infection and allergic sensitisation?


Vitamin D has entered the spotlight in the search for preventive treatments against asthma and allergic disease due to its immune-modulating functions, shown in experimental models to include promotion of immune tolerance and boosting protection against infection. Vitamin D inadequacy is common, but disparate findings from cohort studies have had a polarising effect on the scientific community regarding the wisdom of advocating vitamin D supplementation for protection against asthma and allergic disorders. We have previously found that in the high-risk Western Australian CAS cohort (selected due to positive parental atopic history), the combination of multiple severe lower respiratory infections and sensitisation to inhaled allergens by age 2 profoundly increased risk of asthma development by age 5.


To determine whether vitamin D levels between birth and age 10 years in the CAS cohort are related to frequency of severe respiratory infections in early childhood, allergic sensitisation, and development of asthma by age 5 or 10 years.


We used UPLC/MS/MS (accuracy confirmed with DEQAS standards) to measure 25(OH)-vitamin D3, 3-epi-25(OH)-vitamin D3 and 25(OH)-vitamin D2 from cryobanked plasma samples collected from CAS participants at birth, then at 6 months and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 years. CAS participants were visited by the study physician up to age 5 years for every episode of respiratory infection.


Vitamin D3 inadequacy was common amongst cohort participants, and as expected was highest amongst participants from whom blood was collected in winter; deseasonalised vitamin D3 was calculated for longitudinal comparisons. In all assessments between 6 months (n=233) and 4 years of age (n=189) the majority of participants had inadequate vitamin D3; 51%-67% of participants had insufficient vitamin D3 (50-75 nmol/L) while 18%-28% were vitamin D3 deficient (<50 nmol/L). Analyses addressing the aims are underway and will be presented at the Meeting.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Hollams, E., Zhang, G., Holt, B. et al. P47 - Does vitamin D status in childhood modify risk for asthma development by altering susceptibility to severe respiratory infection and allergic sensitisation?. Clin Transl Allergy 4 (Suppl 1), P102 (2014).

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