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ICU adults getting 540,000 IU of Vitamin D were 2X more likely to be alive 30 days later – RCT June 2019

Trying to identify who may benefit most from future vitamin D intervention trials: a post hoc analysis from the VITDAL-ICU study excluding the early deaths.

Crit Care. 2019 Jun 4;23(1):200. doi: 10.1186/s13054-019-2472-z.
Martucci G1, McNally D2, Parekh D3, Zajic P4, Tuzzolino F5, Arcadipane A1, Christopher KB6, Dobnig H7, Amrein K8,9.


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Vitamin D supplementation has shown promise for reducing mortality in the intensive care setting. As a steroid prohormone with pleiotropic effects, there may be a lag between administration and observing clinical benefit. This secondary analysis of the VITdAL-ICU study sought to explore whether the effect size of vitamin D on mortality was different when study participants who died or were discharged early were excluded.

The VITdAL-ICU study was a randomized, placebo-controlled trial in critically ill adults who received placebo or 540,000 IU cholecalciferol followed by monthly supplementation. The effect of vitamin D on 28-day mortality was evaluated after exclusion of participants who died or were discharged within 7 days from study drug administration, according to vitamin D concentrations on day 3, using a bivariate analysis adjusted for confounders and in a stepwise multiple analysis.

Of 475 study participants, 65 died or were discharged within the first 7 days. In the remaining 410 patients, vitamin D supplementation was associated with a reduction in 28-day mortality [OR 0.58 (95% CI 0.35-0.97) p value = 0.035]. The effect on mortality was not significant after adjusting for age, severity scores, female gender, chronic liver and kidney disease, COPD, diagnosis of the tumor, mechanical ventilation, and vasopressors at enrollment (all p > 0.05). In a multiple model, the mortality reduction by vitamin D supplementation did not remain independently significant [OR 0.61 (95% CI 0.35-1.05) p = 0.075]. Vitamin D metabolite response, in the treatment group, demonstrated that survivors at 28 days, had higher levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (34.4 vs 25.4 ng/ml, p = 0.010) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (107.6 vs 70.3 pg/ml, p = 0.049) on day 3. The increase of plasma metabolites after vitamin D oral supplementation, independent of the baseline value, was associated with lower odds of death [OR 0.48 (95% CI 0.27-0.87) p value = 0.016].

High-dose vitamin D3 supplementation was associated with a reduction of 28-day mortality in a mixed population of critically ill adults with vitamin D deficiency when excluding patients who died or were discharged within 7 days after study inclusion. However, this survival benefit was not independently confirmed when adjusted for other factors strongly associated with mortality.

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12083 VITDAL-ICU June 2019.pdf admin 06 Jun, 2019 1.31 Mb 566