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Non-Smoking Adults Diagnosed with Asthma Needed for Vitamin D Study

PITTSBURGH, June 1 – Researchers at the University Of Pittsburgh Asthma Institute at UPMC and the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine are recruiting patients for the VIDA (Vitamin D add-on therapy enhances corticosteroid responsiveness in Asthma) Study. Adults 18 and older who have been diagnosed with asthma and are non-smokers may be eligible for the study.

The purpose of this study is to find out if taking Vitamin D in addition to an inhaled steroid―the most effective treatment for asthma available today―will help prevent worsening asthma symptoms and asthma exacerbations in people who have low Vitamin D levels, estimated to be up to 30 percent of the population. Some people’s asthma remains uncontrolled even when they regularly take inhaled steroids. One reason might be that inhaled steroids do not work well in people with low Vitamin D levels. This could be related to the increasing evidence that Vitamin D is a critical natural factor which reduces inflammation. “Despite how common asthma is, it remains poorly understood and, in many cases, poorly treated,” said Sally Wenzel, M.D., professor of medicine University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and director of the Asthma Institute. "The possibility that improving treatment may be as easy as taking a vitamin which is activated in the skin by normal exposure to sunlight is exciting."

The VIDA Study is supported by the AsthmaNET Grant awarded to the Asthma Institute in November 2010. AsthmaNet is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The University of Pittsburgh is one of nine AsthmaNet research sites across the United States participating in this study.

As many as 1,600 people will be screened nationally so that about 400 people can be randomized in this study. The University of Pittsburgh will enroll approximately 50 subjects. Participants will be compensated. For more information, please call 1-866-804-5278 or visit www.asthmainstitute.pitt.edu

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