Background and aims New evidence shows high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in many countries and some studies suggest a possible link between vitamin D status and allergic diseases. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of suboptimal vitamin D status in a population sample of Asian children and to investigate the relationship of vitamin D status with allergic diseases and atopy.
Methods Children aged 5–18 years (n = 1315) in the Prediction of Allergies in Taiwanese Children (PATCH) study were evaluated using questionnaires, anthropometric measurements, and serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and total and specific immunoglobulin E (IgE).
Results The mean concentration of serum 25(OH)D was 20.4 ng/mL (SD: 7.1 ng/mL). Vitamin D deficiency (defined as serum 25(OH)D p = 0.001), winter and spring seasons (compared to summer; P both p = 0.011) were independently associated with low serum 25(OH)D levels. After adjusting for potential confounders, serum 25(OH)D status had no association with asthma, rhinitis, eczema, atopy, or total serum IgE (all p > 0.05).
Conclusions Low serum 25(OH)D levels are remarkably common in this population sample of Asian children, which should be a matter of public health concern. Our results provides epidemiological evidence against the association of vitamin D status with various allergic diseases and atopy in Asian children.