Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of acute otitis media in otitis-prone children

Paola Marchisio, Dario Consonni, Elena Baggi, Alberto Zampiero, Sonia Bianchini, Leonardo Terranova, Silvia Tirelli, Susanna Esposito, Nicola Principi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a deficit in vitamin D (VD) is associated with an increased risk of recurrent acute otitis media (AOM) and whether VD supplementation is effective in reducing the number of AOM episodes in otitis-prone children. Methods: A total of 116 children with a history of recurrent AOM (≥3 episodes in preceding 6 months or ≥4 episodes in preceding 12 months) were prospectively and blindly randomized to receive oral VD 1000 IU/d or placebo for 4 months. Episodes of AOM were monitored for 6 months. Results: Fifty-eight children received placebo and 58 with similar characteristics were treated with VD. The number of children experiencing ≥1 AOM episode during the study period was significantly lower in the treatment group (26 versus 38; P = 0.03). There was a marked difference in the number of children who developed uncomplicated AOM (P <0.001), but no difference in the number of children with ≥1 episode of spontaneous otorrhea. The likelihood of AOM was significantly reduced in the patients whose serum VD concentrations were ≥30 ng/mL. Conclusions: VD hypovitaminosis is common in children with recurrent AOM and associated with an increase in the occurrence of AOM when serum 25(OH)D levels are

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1060
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Acute otitis media
  • Complicated acute otitis media
  • Otitis media with effusion
  • Recurrent acute otitis media
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)


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