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Pank Jit Sin, 13 May 2020
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Vitamin D deficient COVID-19 patients at risk of morbidity, mortality

25 Nov 2020

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.

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Most Read Articles
Tristan Manalac, 18 Nov 2020
The substitution of isoleucine to leucine at amino acid 97 (I97L) in the core region of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) seems to reduce its potency, decreasing the efficiency of both infection and the synthesis of the virus’ covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA, reports a new study presented at The Liver Meeting Digital Experience by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD 2020).
Pank Jit Sin, 13 May 2020
A trial vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 is underway with the first US participants being dosed in the Phase 1/2 clinical trial. Known as the BNT162 vaccine programme, the trials are a collaboration between Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, and is part of a global development programme with Germany and the US taking the lead in having the first cohorts to be vaccinated. Germany started the study 1 week earlier. 
Jairia Dela Cruz, 18 Dec 2020
Rinsing with mouthwash that contains povidone-iodine (PI) or cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) helps reduce SARS-CoV-2 levels in the saliva of COVID-19 patients, with the effect persisting for up to 6 hours, as shown in a study from Singapore.