Vitamin D deficiency may increase risk of getting Covid-19: Study
Publish | 16 Sep 2020, 13:56
Researchers at the University of Chicago (UChicago) Medicine found in a retrospective review of patients screened for COVID-19 an association between the vitamin D deficit and the risk of coronavirus infection.
The researchers studied 489 patients in UChicago Medicine who were screened for COVID-19 with a vitamin D level assay within a year. Xinhua notes.
In vitamin-D deficit patients identified as less than 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood that have not been treated, the risk of testing COVID-19 is almost twice as high as in those patients with adequate vitamin levels.
"Vitamin D is essential to the immune system function. It has previously been shown that vitamin D supplements decrease the risk that viral respiratory tract infections can occur," said David Meltzer, head of UChicago's medical hospital and study author. "These findings may be valid for COVID-19 infection from our statistical study."
Half Americans are known to be low in vitamin D. Africans, Hispanics and individuals residing in places like Chicago with even more amounts of sun exposure in winter, are known to be slightly higher.
"It can be of great significance locally , nationally and internationally if vitamin D deficiency therapy increases the risk of COVID 19," says Meltzer. "Vitamin D is cost-effective, normally very healthy and easily scalable."
Further clinical trials are planned by researchers. They stress the importance of longitudinal trials to determine whether the supplementation of vitamin D will reduce COVID-19 risk and potentially severity and the need to investigate which vitamin D supplementation strategies may be most effective in particular populations.
The study was released on Tuesday on the UChicago website.