Vitamin D deficient COVID-19 patients at risk of morbidity, mortality
Vitamin D deficiency may be a contributing factor to the mortality rate among patients with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), reports a new study.
The study included 154 COVID-19 patients between the ages of 30 and 60 years, of whom 91 were asymptomatic and 63 had severe disease and needed intensive care. Serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin-D (25(OH)D) were measured along with routine laboratory tests, such as complete blood count and renal function.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients had significantly higher levels of serum 25(OH)D relative to their counterparts who had severe disease (27.89±6.21 vs 14.35±5.79 ng/mL; p=0.0001).
In addition, 31.86 percent of asymptomatic patients were vitamin D deficient, having serum levels <20 ng/mL, as opposed to nearly all patients (96.82 percent) with severe disease. When the 25(OH)D deficiency cutoff was set at <3 ng/mL, 31.86 percent and 96.82 percent were found to be vitamin D deficient in the respective patient groups.
Patients with vitamin D deficiency likewise saw significant elevations in serum inflammatory markers relative to their normal-level counterparts. Such markers included interleukin-6 (19.34±6.17 vs 12.18±4.29 pg/mL; p=0.03) and ferritin (319.17±38.21 vs 186.83±20.18 ng/mL; p=0.0003).
In terms of outcome, patients with vitamin D deficiency also saw a greater mortality rate than those with normal serum levels (21 percent vs 3.1 percent).
“Vitamin D deficiency markedly increases the chance of having severe disease after infection with SARS CoV-2. The intensity of inflammatory response is also higher in vitamin D deficient COVID-19 patients. This all translates to increased morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 patients who are deficient in vitamin D,” the researchers explained.
“Keeping the current COVID-19 pandemic in view, authors recommend administration of vitamin D supplements to population at risk for COVID-19,” they added.