Background: Asthma is one of the most common pulmonary diseases in Saudi Arabia with estimated prevalence of 24%. It has been found that almost half of Saudi asthmatics suffer from vitamin D deficiency, which is another common health problem in Saudi Arabia. The association between asthma control and vitamin D level, however, is controversial. Our objectives are to estimate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among asthmatic patients in Saudi Arabia and to evaluate the association between vitamin D level and asthma control.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study including all asthmatic patients presenting to the outpatient clinic in the period from 2014 to 2015 at a tertiary care center in the Western region of Saudi Arabia. Asthma control score was assessed using Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines (GINA) and vitamin D measurements were recorded.
Results: 194 asthmatics were included in the study. 41 (21.7%) of the subjects had uncontrolled asthma while 148 (78.3%) had controlled asthma. Vitamin D was deficient in 101 (52.1%) of the population. The mean vitamin D level for controlled and uncontrolled asthmatics was 53.4 and 51.5, respectively, which is not significantly different (p value 0.657). Surprisingly, 71.6% of our asthmatic populations were males. On the other hand, vitamin D deficiency was more common in females (P= 0.019).
Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency is common among pediatric asthmatic patients in Saudi Arabia. Our study suggests that there is no significant association between asthma control and vitamin D level.