Expert Brent Kinder Patients suffering from an autoimmune interstitial lung disease (ILD) may often lack sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Well it now seems that vitamin D deficiency has an impact on certain autoimmune lung diseases as well. A latest study claims that vitamin D inadequacy is correlated with the development and severity of some autoimmune lung diseases.

The study was conducted on 118 patients amongst which, 67 had connective tissue disease-related ILD and 51 were registered with other causes of lung fibrosis. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels apparently indicate levels of vitamin D in the body. Authors also assessed the seeming relations between serum levels and the patients’ conditions. 52 percent patients suffering from connective tissue disease-related ILD and 20 percent of those with other forms of ILD were probably more likely to have vitamin D deficiency. Insufficiency was registered in 79 percent connective tissue disease-related ILD patients and 31 percent having other forms of ILD.

Brent Kinder, MD, UC Health pulmonologist, director of the Interstitial Lung Disease Center at the University of Cincinnati and lead investigator on the study, said, “ILD is a group of diseases that mainly affect the tissues of the lungs instead of the airways, like asthma and emphysema do. It causes scarring of the lungs, is more difficult to diagnosis and treat than other kinds of lung diseases and is often fatal. Since vitamin D deficiency has implications for other manifestations of autoimmune illnesses, we wanted to see it had an effect on the lungs of this patient population.”

The same group of patients supposedly had decreased serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels strongly associated with reduced lung function. There appears a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in patients with ILD, particularly those having connective tissue disease. It is assumed that vitamin D plays a key role in the development of connective tissue disease-related ILD and patients worsening lung function. The study findings may aid in determining more natural, inexpensive treatments for ILD.

The study is published in the January 4 edition of the journal Chest.