Walker, J, Gilchrist, FJ and Carroll, WD (2019) Less sun, more cough: Annual hours of sunshine are inversely associated with hospital admissions for children with lower respiratory tract infection. In: ERS International Congress 2019, 28 September to 2 October 2019, IFEMA, Madrid.

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Background: Vitamin D deficiency affects immune function increasing susceptibility to respiratory tract infections (RTI). Randomised controlled trials show vitamin D supplementation protects against acute RTIs. Most vitamin D (>90%) is acquired from sun exposure.

Objective: To determine whether there is an association between hours of sunshine, deprivation status and severe lower respiratory tract infection rates (LRTI) in English children.

Methods: The annualised age-gender corrected severe LRTI (agc-LRTI) rate for children <15 years was determined using Hospital Episodes Statistics data for April 2002-2011. Hours of sunshine (HoS) were calculated for matched regions using Met Office data. Regional deprivation index scores (IDACI) were taken from DoH statistics. Multivariate regression was used to explore the relationship between HoS, agc-LRTI rate & IDACI.

Results: During the study period 314,226 children were admitted to English hospitals with LRTI. The child population varied between 9,654,027 and 9,853,580. The mean agc-LRTI rate was 357/100,000. The annual HoS in each region varied between 1287 hours (NW 2008-9) and 1815 hours (SE & Central 2006-7). There was a strong inverse association between HoS and agc-LRTI admission rates in English regions (p<0.001). In the model regional deprivation showed no statistical association with severe LRTI rate (p=0.54).

Conclusion: Long-term weather patterns are associated with admissions to hospital for children with LRTI. Sunnier regions and sunnier years have lower LRTI admission rates when correcting for age, gender and deprivation. It is biologically plausible that this effect is mediated by vitamin D.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Additional Information: The final version of this manuscript and all relevant information related to it, including copyrights, can be found on the publisher website.
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC705 Diseases of the respiratory system
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 10:10
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2022 10:10
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/10588

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