Low vitamin D levels linked to severe COVID-19 complications

There is a strong correlation between severe vitamin D deficiency and severe complications among COVID-19 patients, including death, a new study shows.

The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, examined data for patients with COVID-19 from Germany, South Korea, China, Switzerland, Iran, the U.K., U.S., France, Spain and Italy.

Researchers examined the link between vitamin D levels and C-reactive protein concentration in 9,212 healthy participants from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They also studied reports of 793 COVID-19 patients.

Researchers found a strong association between low vitamin D levels and high C-reactive protein concentration, which is a marker of cytokine storm, a hyperinflammatory condition that is seen in patients with severe cases of COVID-19. They also found an association between vitamin D deficiency and death.

Researchers estimated that the "risk of severe COVID-19 cases among patients with severe vitamin D deficiency is 17.3 percent, while the risk of severity for patients with normal vitamin D levels is 14.6 percent."

But this does not mean that people need to start hoarding vitamin D supplements, the researchers said.

"We don't need to push vitamin D on everybody," said Vadim Backman, PhD,a professor of biomedical engineering at Evanston, Ill.-based Northwestern University and the study's leader. "This needs further study, and I hope our work will stimulate interest in this area."

More articles on patient safety & outcomes:
COVID-19 nearly triples death risk of cancer patients, study finds
6 insights into COVID-19 patient care patterns worldwide
COVID-19 is 13 times deadlier than flu, study suggests

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