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Vitamin D supplementation and antibiotic use in older Australian adults: An analysis of data from the D-Health Trial


Pham, H and Waterhouse, M and Baxter, C and Duarte Romero, B and McLeod, DSA and Armstrong, BK and Ebeling, PR and English, DR and Hartel, G and Kimlin, MG and O'Connell, RL and van der Pols, JC and Venn, AJ and Webb, PM and Whiteman, DC and Neale, RE, Vitamin D supplementation and antibiotic use in older Australian adults: An analysis of data from the D-Health Trial, Journal of Infectious Diseases, 226, (6) pp. 949-957. ISSN 0022-1899 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America.

DOI: doi:10.1093/infdis/jiac279


Background: Vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk or severity of infection, but this has been investigated in few large population-based trials. We analyzed data from the D-Health Trial, using prescription of antibiotics as a surrogate for infection.

Methods: The D-Health Trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which 21 315 Australians aged 60-84 years were randomized to 60 000 IU of supplementary vitamin D3 or placebo monthly for 5 years. For this analysis, the primary outcome was the number of antibiotic prescription episodes; secondary outcomes were total number of prescriptions, repeat prescription episodes, and antibiotics for urinary tract infection. We estimated incidence rate ratios (IRRs) using negative binomial regression, and odds ratios using logistic regression.

Results: Vitamin D supplementation slightly reduced the number of prescription episodes (IRR, 0.98; 95% confidence interval [CI], .95-1.01), total prescriptions (IRR, 0.97; 95% CI, .93-1.00), and repeat prescription episodes (IRR, 0.96; 95% CI, .93-1.00). There was stronger evidence of benefit in people predicted to have insufficient vitamin D at baseline (prescription episodes IRR, 0.93; 95% CI, .87-.99).

Conclusions: Vitamin D may reduce the number of antibiotic prescriptions, particularly in people with low vitamin D status. This supports the hypothesis that vitamin D has a clinically relevant effect on the immune system.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:vitamin D supplementation, antibiotic use, urinary tract infection, randomized controlled trial
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Clinical sciences not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Venn, AJ (Professor Alison Venn)
ID Code:153564
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2022-09-26
Last Modified:2022-11-10

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