The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Janelle Gardiner1, Kelsey Gillespie1, Brittney Supp2; 1Respiratory Therapy, Weber State University, Ogden, UT; 2Clinical Lab Sciences, Weber State University, Ogden, UT

BACKGROUND: Midtown Community Health Center in Ogden, Utah provides healthcare to the underprivileged residents of Northern Utah. Within that population, over 800 patients have a diagnosis of asthma. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the correlation between levels of serum vitamin D3 and the severity of inflammation due to asthma. Previous research shows a correlation between vitamin D3 and decrease sputum eosinophil levels. This study utilizes the technology produced by Aerocrine to measure fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO). When activated the non-adrenergic non-cholinergic system causes a production of nitric oxide (NO) in the airways. Nitric oxide is selectively produced by airway inflammation but is unaffected by bronchoconstriction. METHODS: Midtown Community Health Center assisted in the recruitment of 20 patients between the ages of 8 and 69 with an asthma diagnosis who were also deficient in serum vitamin D3. Over the period of one year, participants supplemented with a standardized amount of vitamin D3 to obtain a target serum level of 50-80 ng/ml. Upon enrollment, participants completed an asthma questionnaire and underwent three tests: fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), peak expiratory flow (PEF) and serum vitamin D3. Each of these was then repeated at six-month intervals. The asthma questionnaire was used to assess management of the patient’s asthma. Nitric oxide was measured using Aerocrine’s NIOX MINO. An average PEF measurement was recorded after three consecutive attempts. Blood samples were taken to Ogden Clinic to be tested for 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25-OHVitD) as measured by chemiluminescense. Statistical analysis was performed using T-tests (p=0.01). RESULTS: T-tests concluded that participants showed a statistically significant increase in serum vitamin D3 levels between the initial and final sample collections (T value: 3.113, critical value: 2.878). T-tests for FeNO (T value: 1.356) and peak expiratory flow (T value: 0.020) values did not prove to have a statistically significant change. CONCLUSIONS: There is a lack of statistical evidence suggesting the null hypothesis be accepted. There are multiple limitations to the results of this study. One limitation to the results is previous research suggests that vitamin D does not show physiological effects until blood levels are above 50 ng/ml. Only three of the participants reached that level. Sponsored Research - Aerocrine allowed us to use a demo unit (NIOX MINO) without charge for our study. We purchased the necessary mouthpiece/filters for the machine. Our study was conducted in full using grant money from two sources—Hall Endowment for Community Outreach and Office of Undergraduate Research (both acquired through Weber State University affiliation).