Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Medicine (MMed)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Adil Waris

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Geoffrey Omuse


Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Background: Asthma is a chronic respiratory illness affecting an estimated 334 million people worldwide, including 14% of the total pediatric population. It results in significant morbidity, and therefore the etiologies and risk factors associated with asthma are of great interest. Serum 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) has substantial immunomodulatory effects on the innate immune system. It reduces the probability of viral respiratory infections and asthma exacerbations by potentiating the anti-inflammatory action of corticosteroids.

Objectives: This study was conducted to determine if there was a difference in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels between children with mild and severe atopic asthma and explored the correlation between various comorbidities and severity of asthma in children.

Methods: The study design was cross-sectional. Recruitment was done at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi (AKUHN). Participants were classified as having either mild or severe asthma as per the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines of 2019 (1). The analysis was stratified based on the severity of asthma (mild and severe) and compared using chi-square for categorical variables while continuous data were compared using the Mann-Whitney test. Multivariable analysis was employed to ascertain the association between severity of asthma and various comorbidities with a statistically significant p-value being less than 0.05.

Results: Seventy children were recruited into the study with a median age of 5 (IQR: 3-7) years. The median (IQR) serum 25(OH)D levels in the mild and severe asthma categories were estimated as 26.8(23.5-32.9) and 24.6(21.0-31.8) ng/mL, respectively. This difference was not statistically vi significant. In the multivariable analysis; family history of asthma, BMI, age and allergic conjunctivitis were not significantly correlated to severe asthma.

Conclusion: The level of serum 25(OH)D was not significantly associated with the severity of asthma. No association between known comorbidities and asthma severity was found.

Included in

Pediatrics Commons