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HOME > Acute Crit Care > Volume 31(4); 2016 > Article
Editorial Should We Measure Vitamin D Level?
Jae Hwa Cho, M.D.orcid
Korean Journal of Critical Care Medicine 2016;31(4):369-370.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4266/kjccm.2016.00948
Published online: November 30, 2016

Division of Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea

Correspondence to: Jae Hwa Cho Division of Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Inha University College of Medicine, 27 Inhang-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon 22332, Korea Tel: +82-32-890-3490 Fax: +82-32-882-6578 E-mail: jaehwa.cho@inha.ac.kr

Copyright © 2016 The Korean Society of Critical Care Medicine

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D > 10 ng per milliliter) increases the risk of bone fracture and muscle weakness. Vitamin D insufficiency is defined as a serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D3) of 10 to 30 ng per milliliter without obvious clinical disease.[1] During the past decade, the effects of vitamin D insufficiency have been studied in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, endocrine disorders and immune dysfunction.[1]
In the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the prevalence of serum 25[OH]D3 < 20 ng per milliliter was 47.3% in males and 64.5% in females.[2] In a pilot study, vitamin D insufficiency in patients admitted to intensive care units in the Daegu metropolitan area comprised 87.8%.[3,4] Short-term and mid-term mortality rates were not associated with vitamin D levels, however.[3.4] Vitamin D plays key roles in immune regulation, infection susceptibility and progression of acute respiratory distress syndrome.[5,6] Many studies have suggested that vitamin D replacement therapy reduces mortality in various diseases. In a meta-analysis, vitamin D supplementation seemed to reduce mortality rates in elderly patients.[7] However, the methods of administering vitamin D varied and we did not find appropriate way of vitamin D therapy.
Clinical outcomes according to vitamin D level have not been determined. Beyond basic research, clinical studies using vitamin D are needed in critical and intensive care medicine. Prospective studies on vitamin D replacement in critically ill patients with vitamin D deficiency are ongoing.[8] Regular monitoring of serum 25[OH]D3 should be considered in severely ill patients.

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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  • 2. Choi HS, Oh HJ, Choi H, Choi WH, Kim JG, Kim KM, et al. Vitamin D insufficiency in Korea--a greater threat to younger generation: the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2011;96:643-51.ArticlePubMed
  • 3. Kim HJ, Sohn MS, Choi EY. Prevalence and related factors of vitamin D deficiency in critically Ill patients. Korean J Crit Care Med 2016;31:300-7.ArticlePDF
  • 4. Ala-Kokko TI, Mutt SJ, Nisula S, Koskenkari J, Liisanantti J, Ohtonen P, et al. Vitamin D deficiency at admission is not associated with 90-day mortality in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock: observational FINNAKI cohort study. Ann Med 2016;48:67-75.ArticlePubMed
  • 5. Upala S, Sanguankeo A, Permpalung N. Significant association between vitamin D deficiency and sepsis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Anesthesiol 2015;15:84. ArticlePubMedPMCPDF
  • 6. Dancer RC, Parekh D, Lax S, D’Souza V, Zheng S, Bassford CR, et al. Vitamin D deficiency contributes directly to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Thorax 2015;70:617-24.ArticlePubMedPMC
  • 7. Bjelakovic G, Gluud LL, Nikolova D, Whitfield K, Krstic G, Wetterslev J, et al. Vitamin D supplementation for prevention of mortality in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2014;(6):CD007470.ArticlePubMed
  • 8. Han JE, Jones JL, Tangpricha V, Brown MA, Brown LA, Hao L, et al. High dose vitamin D administration in ventilated intensive care unit patients: a pilot double blind randomized controlled trial. J Clin Transl Endocrinol 2016;4:59-65.ArticlePubMedPMC

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