Public Release:  Poor vitamin D status linked to longer respiratory support in ICU patients, study finds

American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.)

Vitamin D status may influence the duration of respiratory support needed for surgical intensive care patients, according to a new cohort study conducted by researchers at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

The study demonstrated that plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels on admission to the surgical ICU were inversely associated with the need for mechanical ventilation in critically ill surgical patients. The study's results are published today in the OnlineFirst version of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN), the research journal of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.),

It is well known that an optimized vitamin D status is important for ideal musculoskeletal health, regulation of innate and adaptive immunity, and expression of endogenous antimicrobial peptides. Therefore, the researchers hypothesized that low 25OHD levels likely contributed to respiratory muscle weakness, systemic inflammation, and infections, which all affect the duration of respiratory support. However, because of the observational nature of this study and other limitations, these findings must be interpreted cautiously.

The researchers suggest further studies be conducted to validate their findings, to assess potential benefits of aggressive vitamin D supplementation in critical illness, and to identify how vitamin D may reduce the need for respiratory support in surgical ICU patients.

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A publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.), the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN) is the premier scientific journal of nutrition and metabolic support. It publishes original, peer-reviewed studies that define the cutting edge of basic and clinical research in the field. It explores the science of optimizing the care of patients receiving enteral or intravenous therapies. All published JPEN articles are available online at http://pen.sagepub.com.

The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of nutrition support therapy and metabolism. Founded in 1976, A.S.P.E.N. is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 6,000 members from around the world, A.S.P.E.N. is a community of dietitians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, students, and other health professionals from every facet of nutrition support clinical practice, research, and education. For more information about A.S.P.E.N., please visit http://www.nutritioncare.org.

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