Vitamin D insufficiency may be prevalent in severe COVID-19 cases

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Vitamin D insufficiency may play a role in the progression of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a new observational study available on the pre-print server medRxiv.

For the study, researchers retrospectively reviewed medical records of COVID-19 patients whose serum 25-hydroxycholecalcifoerol (25OHD) levels were determined. The scientists looked at the frequency of vitamin D insufficiency among the patients to evaluate the likelihood of a relationship.

Twenty COVID-19 patients with serum 25OHD levels were identified. Of those, 65 percent required intensive care unit (ICU) admission. The vitamin D insufficiency prevalence in ICU patients was 84.6 percent versus 57.1 percent in floor patients. Additionally, 100 percent of ICU patients less than 75 years old had vitamin D insufficiency. Coagulopathy was present in 62.5 percent of ICU COVID-19 patients, and 92.3 percent were lymphocytopenic.

The researchers concluded vitamin D insufficiency was prevalent in severe COVID-19 cases. Vitamin D insufficiency and severe COVID-19 share numerous associations, the researchers said, including hypertension, obesity, male sex, advanced age, concentration in northern climates, coagulopathy, and immune dysfunction. The next step would be prospective, randomized controlled studies of vitamin D insufficiency in COVID-19 patients.

The study has not been certified by peer review. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and should not be used to guide clinical practice.

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