Vitamin D and risk of respiratory tract infections in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Jong Gyun Ahn, Dokyung Lee, Kyung Hyo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Recent observational studies have found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with respiratory tract infections. However, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) regarding the efficacy of vitamin D in childhood respiratory tract infection (RTI) have yield inconsistent results. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the association between vitamin D supplementation and the risk of RTI. Methods: A comprehensive search was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trial. Randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation for prevention of RTI in children were included for the analysis. Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing the risk of bias was used to assess the quality of the studies. Pooled risk ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were meta-analyzed using Review Manager 5.3. Results: A total of seven RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. According to a random-effects model, the risk ratio for vitamin D supplementation was 0.82 (95% CI: 0.69-0.98) and I2=62% for heterogeneity. On subgroup analysis, heterogeneity decreased in the subgroup with follow-up less than 1 year, participants ≥5 years of age, patients subgroup, and subgroup with dosing daily. Funnel plot showed that there might be publication bias in the field. Conclusions: The present meta-analysis supports a beneficial effect of vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of RTI in children. However, the result should be interpreted with caution due to limitations including a small number of available RCTs, heterogeneity among the studies, and potential publication bias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Infection and Vaccine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Korean Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. All rights reserved.


  • Meta-analysis
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Vitamin D


Dive into the research topics of 'Vitamin D and risk of respiratory tract infections in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this