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Tuberculosis in children 1.7 X more likely if low vitamin D – meta-analysis Aug 2018

The association between vitamin D status and tuberculosis in children: A meta-analysis.

Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Aug;97(35):e12179. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000012179.
Gou X1,2, Pan L1,2, Tang F1,2, Gao H1,2, Xiao D1,2.
1 Emergency Department, West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University.
2 Key Laboratory of Birth Defects and Related Diseases of Women and Children (Sichuan University), Ministry of Education, Chengdu, China.


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Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis (TB), but most studies have not reported a significant association. We conducted a meta-analysis to explore the association between vitamin D status and TB in children.

Web of Science, Ovid Medline, and EMBASE were searched for studies in English that discussed vitamin D status and TB in children before January 22, 2018.

From the 585 initially identified studies, we selected those that addressed an association between vitamin D status and TB according to our preselected inclusion criteria. Our meta-analysis included 10 studies. According to the random effects model, TB was significantly associated with VDD (ORs, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.20-2.42; P < .05) in children. Vitamin D levels were significantly lower in TB patients than in controls, with a mean difference d = -5.49 nmol/L (95% CI, -10.42 to -0.55; P < .05), indicating that VDD was significantly associated with TB (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.30-2.44; P < .05) in children.

This study suggests that vitamin D levels are significantly lower in children with TB/latent TB infection than in controls. TB may contribute to VDD in children. Therefore, VDD may be associated with TB in children.

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