Low vitamin D levels linked to long COVID risk

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A new study presented at the 25th European Congress of Endocrinology in Istanbul highlights a potential connection between vitamin D levels and the risk of developing long COVID, a condition where symptoms persist beyond 12 weeks after initial COVID-19 infection.

Key Findings of the Study

Vitamin D and Long COVID: Researchers from Vita-Salute San Raffaele University and IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, found that lower vitamin D levels were observed in patients with long COVID compared to those without.

This was particularly noticeable in patients experiencing ‘brain fog’ symptoms.

Controlled Patient Selection: The study focused on patients aged 51-70 years who were hospitalized for COVID-19 but did not require intensive care.

Factors like age, sex, chronic diseases, and COVID-19 severity were matched between groups with and without long COVID.

Significance of Vitamin D in COVID-19

Previous Research: Prior studies have indicated that low vitamin D levels can lead to worse outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, including higher risks of intubation, mechanical ventilation, or death.

Long COVID and Vitamin D: The new study adds to this knowledge by specifically investigating vitamin D’s role in long COVID, a less understood aspect of the virus’s impact.

Implications for Future Research and Treatment

Need for Larger Studies: While the findings are compelling, lead investigator Professor Andrea Giustina acknowledges the need for larger studies to confirm the link between vitamin D deficiency and long COVID.

Potential Role of Supplements: The research team is now exploring whether vitamin D supplements could alleviate long COVID symptoms or reduce the risk of developing the condition.

Practical Recommendations

Vitamin D Checks Post-COVID-19: Given the findings, individuals recovering from COVID-19, especially those who were hospitalized, are recommended to have their vitamin D levels checked as part of their follow-up care.

In summary, this study suggests a significant link between vitamin D levels and the likelihood of developing long COVID, especially in patients experiencing cognitive symptoms like brain fog.

The research paves the way for further investigation into how vitamin D supplementation could potentially serve as a preventive or therapeutic measure against long COVID.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about Vitamin D deficiency linked to severe COVID-19, and how diets could help manage post-COVID syndrome.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about new evidence on rare blood clots after COVID-19 vaccination, and results showing zinc could help reduce COVID-19 infection risk.

The research findings are in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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