Author: Denise Baez
Vitamin D deficiency was found in 82.2% of patients admitted to 1 hospital with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
“We have found that serum 25OHD [25-hydroxyvitamin D] levels are significantly lower in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 compared with population-based controls of similar age and sex, and that these differences remain significant even once adjusting for the main confounding factors,” wrote José L. Hernández, MD, Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla-IDIVAL, Santander, Spain, and colleagues. “These levels were especially lower in the group of men with COVID-19.”
However, despite the high frequency of vitamin D deficiency in patients hospitalised for COVID-19, no difference was found in the composite endpoint of admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), requirement for mechanical ventilation, or in-hospital mortality between vitamin D deficient and non-deficient patients with COVID-19 (21.3% vs 30.8%; P = .203). There was also no difference in mortality rates between groups (12.9% vs 9.8%; P = .590).
The researchers designed a retrospective case-control study that included 216 patients aged ≥18 years, with confirmed COVID-19 admitted to the University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla from March 10 to March 31, 2020, and 197 sex-matched population-based controls recruited from the Camargo Cohort during their last follow-up visit (January-March of the past year).
In patients with COVID-19, mean ± SD 25OHD levels were 13.8 ± 7.2 ng/ml, compared with 20.9 ± 7.4 ng/ml in controls (P < .0001). Vitamin D deficiency was found in 82.2% of COVID-19 cases compared with 47.2% of population-based controls (P < .0001). Serum 25OHD values were lower in men than in women.
In multivariable general linear model, mean serum 25OHD levels were persistently significantly lower in patients with COVID-19 than in population-based controls, even after adjusting for age, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, history of cardiovascular events, immunosuppression, body mass index, serum corrected calcium, glomerular filtration rate, and the month of vitamin D determination.
Serum 25OHD levels inversely and significantly correlated with serum ferritin (P = .013) and D-dimer levels (P = .027). However, there was no statistically significant association between serum vitamin D and interleukin-6 levels in patients with COVID-19 (P = 0.67).
“Further studies including a large sample size should be done to determine the real impact of vitamin D deficiency on the severity of COVID-19,” the authors wrote. “Whether the treatment of vitamin D deficiency will play some role in the prevention of the viral disease or improve the prognosis of patients with COVID-19 remains to be elucidated in large randomised controlled trials which will be certainly necessary to precisely define the role of vitamin D supplementation in futures waves of SARS-CoV-2 infection.”