Vitamin D deficiency is associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and exacerbation of COPD

Komarla Sundararaja Lokesh, Sindaghatta Krishnarao Chaya, Biligere Siddaiah Jayaraj, Attahalli Shivanarayanprasad Praveena, Murali Krishna, Purnima Madhivanan, Padukudru Anand Mahesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Low Vitamin D levels have been associated with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and acute exacerbations. Objectives: There is a paucity of data on Vitamin D and COPD, its severity and exacerbations in populations that are exposed to sunlight regularly with high levels of physical activity most of their lives. Methods: Serum levels of 25-OH-Vitamin-D were assessed in 100 COPD subjects and 100 age- and gender-matched controls from the rural community-based MUDHRA cohort in South India. Levels of <20 ng/mL were defined as Vitamin D deficiency. Smoking habits, occupation, Charlson co-morbidity index, Standard of living index(SLI), body mass index(BMI), 6-minute walking distance were examined for associations with logistic regression between controls and COPD subjects. Unconditional logistic regression was used to examine the association with exacerbation of COPD. Results: Vitamin D deficiency was observed in 64.5% (95%CI 57.7–70.8) of the subjects in spite of regular exposure to sunlight. Subjects with COPD had higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency (Adjusted OR: 5.05; 95%CI 1.4–17.8) as compared to controls. Amongst subjects with COPD, Vitamin D deficient subjects were three times more likely to have exacerbations in the previous year (Adjusted OR:3.51; 95%CI 1.27–9.67) as compared to COPD subjects without Vitamin D deficiency. Levels of Vitamin D <20.81 ng/mL and <18.45 ng/mL had the highest levels of combined sensitivity and specificity for COPD and acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) respectively. Conclusion: In a rural population exposed to sunlight many hours a day throughout their lives, low Vitamin D levels were associated with COPD and exacerbations of COPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-399
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Respiratory Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • 6-minute walk distance
  • COPD
  • Vitamin D
  • acute exacerbation of COPD
  • spirometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Genetics(clinical)


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