Title

Vitamin D's Potential to Reduce the Risk of Hospital-Acquired Infections

Document Type

Review

Publication Date

4-1-2012

Description

Health care-associated and hospital-acquired infections are two entities associated with increased morbidity and mortality. They are highly costly and constitute a great burden to the health care system. Vitamin D deficiency (< 20 ng/ml) is prevalent and may be a key contributor to both acute and chronic ill health. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with decreased innate immunity and increased risk for infections. Vitamin D can positively influence a wide variety of microbial infections. Herein we discuss hospital-acquired infections, such as pneumonia, bacteremias, urinary tract and surgical site infections, and the potential role vitamin D may play in ameliorating them. We also discuss how vitamin D might positively influence these infections and help contain health care costs. Pending further studies, we think it is prudent to check vitamin D status at hospital admission and to take immediate steps to address existing insufficient 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels.

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