Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

Christos Stefanidis

Project: Vitamin D in the treatment of asthma: a Cochrane review and feasibility studies for trials of vitamin D supplementation in children

PhD overview

PhD Title: Vitamin D in the treatment of asthma: a Cochrane review and feasibility studies for trials of vitamin D supplementation in children

Funded by: Queen Mary University of London

Supervisors: Professor Adrian Martineau, Professor Chris Griffiths, Professor Andrew Bush 

Based at: Queen Mary University of London


headshot of Christos Stefanidis
Former Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research PhD student Christos Stefanidis

Acute exacerbations are recognized as the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with asthma. Viral upper respiratory infections are the most common precipitants, but interventions to prevent these are lacking. Observational studies report associations between vitamin D deficiency and susceptibility to upper respiratory infection in diverse populations; these associations are particularly strong in patients with asthma, among whom vitamin D deficiency is common. There is therefore considerable interest in the potential of vitamin D supplementation as a treatment to improve asthma morbidity and in particular to prevent exacerbations.

The aims of this PhD are to complete a Cochrane review of the effects of vitamin D supplementation on asthma, and to carry out pilot feasibility work for trials of supplementation in a) children with asthma, and b) children with pre-school wheeze.


Funded by Queen Mary University of London


  • Christos Stefanidis, Andrew Bush, Christopher Newby, Chinedu Nwokoro, Susan Liebeschuetz, Imogen P. Skene, Christopher J. Griffiths, Adrian R. Martineau. Vitamin D replacement in children with acute wheeze: a dose-escalation study. ERJ Open Research Apr 2022, 8 (2) 00609-2021; DOI: 10.1183/23120541.00609-2021

  • Jolliffe DA, Stefanidis C, Wang Z, Kermani NZ, Dimitrov V, White JH, et al. Vitamin D Metabolism is Dysregulated in Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2020, V. 202, Issue 3. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201909-1867OC

  • Stefanidis C, Martineau AR, Nwokoro C, Griffiths C, Bush A. Vitamin D for secondary prevention of acute wheeze attacks in preschool and school-age children. Thorax Published Online First: 05 July 2019. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2019-213278