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Archived Comments for: Let the sun shine in: effects of ultraviolet radiation on invasive pneumococcal disease risk in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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  1. Pneumonia and UVB during the 1918-19 pandemic infleunza in the U.S.

    William B. Grant, Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center (SUNARC)

    18 January 2010

    Additional support for this finding is given in an ecological study of case-fatality rates following infection by pandemic influenza A/H1N1 in 12 U.S. communities in 1918-19. Using data obtained by the U.S. Public Health Service through door-to-door surveys near the end of the 1918-19 pandemic [1], along with indices for solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) doses in summer and winter, it was determined that differences in vitamin D production in summer explained 46% of the variance, while vitamin D production in winter explained 42% of the variance [2]. The mechanisms proposed were shifting of cytokine production away from proinflammatory ones by 1,25-dihyroxyvitamin D and combating pneumonia infection by cathelicidin induced by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D.

    1. Britten RH. The incidence of epidemic influenza, 1918–19. Pub Health Rep 1932;47:303-39.

    2. Grant WB, Giovannucci D. The possible roles of solar ultraviolet-B radiation and vitamin D in reducing case-fatality rates from the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic in the United States. Dermato-Endocrinology 2009;1(4): 215-9.

    Competing interests

    I receive funding from the UV Foundation (McLean, VA), the Vitamin D Society (Canada), the Sunlight Research Forum (Veldhoven), and Bio-Tech-Pharmacal (Fayetteville, AR).