Vitamin D is recognized as an important co-factor in several physiological processes linked with bone and calcium metabolism, and also in diverse non-skeletal outcomes, including autoimmune diseases, heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cognitive decline, and infections.
In particular, the impact of vitamin D metabolites on the immune system response, and on the development of COVID-19 infection, has been previously described in a few studies worldwide.
In a new study, researchers examined associations of low plasma 25(OH)D with the risk of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization.
Using the real-world data and Israeli cohort of 782 COVID-19 positive patients and 7,025 COVID-19 negative patients, they found that low plasma vitamin D level appears to be a big risk factor for COVID-19 infection and hospitalization.
The research was conducted by a team from the Leumit Health Services (LHS) and the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University.
The team found a strong association of low plasma vitamin D level with the likelihood of COVID-19 infection among patients who were tested for COVID-19.
Furthermore, low vitamin D level was associated with the risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19 infection.
The findings are in line with the results of previous studies in the field.
Reduced risk of acute respiratory tract infection following vitamin D supplementation has been reported.
The team also found that surprisingly, chronic medical conditions, like dementia, cardiovascular disease, and chronic lung disease that were considered to be very risky in previous studies, were not found as increasing the rate of infection.
The team says that patients with chronic medical conditions significantly reduced their social contacts. This might indeed minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection in that group of patients.
One author of the study is Dr. Eugene Merzon.
The study is published in The FEBS Journal.
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