Vitamin D deficiency reduces survival after coronavirus infection
If you end up in the intensive care unit because you have been infected with the coronavirus, your chances of survival are better if your vitamin D status is OK. This is evident from a number of studies we previously wrote about, as well as an Italian study recently published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation.
In the Italian study, researchers describe 42 corona patients who were admitted in March and April 2020 to the intensive care unit of the university hospital of the University of Bari 'Aldo Moro'.
The researchers measured the concentration of vitamin D in the blood of their test subjects. Almost a quarter of them - 24 percent to be exact - had severe vitamin D deficiency.
The researchers divided their study participants into 4 separate groups based on their vitamin D levels, and looked at whether the groups differed significantly from each other in more ways. As far as they could tell, those differences weren't there.
Click on the figure below for a larger version.
The researchers compared the survival chances of the latter group with those of the other study participants. After 30 days, half of the patients with severe vitamin D deficiency had died. At that time 15 percent of the remaining patients were no longer alive.
The Covid-19 virus turns off immune cells that weaken immune responses when the virus is defeated. As a result, immune responses can derail after a corona infection, sometimes resulting in death. The researchers suspect that a good vitamin D status reduces the risk of these extreme immune reactions.
We got our hands on the Italian research that this report is about thanks to Ferdinand Oeinck. Thank you, Ferdinand.
J Endocrinol Invest. 2020 Aug 9;1-7. doi: 10.1007/s40618-020-01370-x. Online ahead of print.
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