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October 3, 2012

Vitamin D and the Cure for the Common Cold

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

JAMA. 2012;308(13):1375-1376. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.13130

In the United States, an estimated 1 billion upper respiratory tract infections and colds occur annually.1 Acute respiratory tract infections account for 10% of the 1.3 billion annual ambulatory and emergency department visits in the United States.2 Patients seeking medical care for acute respiratory tract infections have decrements in health-related quality of life that are similar in magnitude to those of patients with chronic lung disease, osteoarthritis, and depression.3 For these reasons, an effective preventive measure or cure for the common cold would reduce medical costs and improve quality of life.

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