The 2015 update of the Cochrane review includes new studies, but the message remains the same. For every 100 children given antibiotics there will be five extra children free from pain at 2-3 days compared to seven extra who develop diarrhoea, vomiting or rash. For more details click here.
The articles in this section come from a series of articles that I wrote for Update magazine in 2005/6 and for Pulse in 2001 as well as a few other articles which are relevant when critically appraising the medical literature.
Vitamin D reduced the risk of emergency department visits or hospitalisation for asthma from 6% to 3% over six to twelve months, and also reduced the risk of less serious asthma attacks from 29% to 18%. These results are illustrated in the Cates plots shown below:
People with an asthma attacks leading to ED visit or hospitalisation
In the control group 6 out of 100 people had a visit to ED or hospitalisation over 8 months, compared to 3 (95% CI 1 to 5) out of 100 on vitamin D (mostly evidence from trials on 658 adults).
People with one or more asthma attacks (as defined in each trial)
In the control group 29 out of 100 people had a study-defined exacerbation over 7 months, compared to 18 (95% CI 10 to 29) out of 100 on Vitamin D (from trials in 658 adults and 341 children).
For full details of the review please follow this link. The evidence from children is still rather limited and we do not know for sure what dose of Vitamin D is needed or what blood level of Vitamin D determines whether people benefit. Vitamin D is not a substitute for normal preventer treatment.