Vitamin D, acute lower respiratory infection, pneumonia, bronchiolitis


Introduction: Acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) is a leading cause of childhood mortality. Research suggests that vitamin D deficiency (VDD) puts children at risk for ALRI. The purpose of this review is to examine ALRI and VDD in children 5 years and younger. Common etiologies, diagnosis, prevention, treatment of ALRI, and recommendations for vitamin D supplementation are summarized.

Method: Databases were searched for studies investigating VDD and ALRI in children. Independent reviewers assessed the internal validity of the studies.

Results: Of 18 studies examined, VDD was found to be associated with increased risk or severity of ALRI in 13 studies; associations were not found in 4 studies. In one study it was found that high maternal vitamin D levels was associated with ALRI in infants.

Discussion: Vitamin D supplementation is a low-cost, low-risk intervention that providers should consider for children, especially those at high risk for ALRI. Practitioners should follow current recommendations when prescribing vitamin D supplementation for infants and children.

Original Publication Citation

Larkin, A. H., & Lassetter, J. H. (2014). Vitamin D deficiency and acute lower respiratory infections in children under 5 years of age: Identification and treatment. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 28(6), 572-582.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Pediatric Health Care





University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor