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Team finds link between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 infection



A new retrospective study of people tested for COVID-19 shows that there is a link between vitamin D deficiency and the likelihood of being infected with COVID-19.

“Vitamin D is important for the functioning of the immune system, and vitamin D supplements have long been shown to reduce the risk of viral respiratory tract infections,” said David Meltzer, a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and director of hospital medicine. Study author JAMA Network Open.. “Our statistical analysis suggests that this applies to COVID-19 infections.”

The research team examined 489 patients. Vitamin D Levels were measured within a year before COVID-19 was tested. Patients with untreated vitamin D deficiency (defined as less than 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood) had nearly twice the positive rate of the COVID-19 test compared to patients with adequate levels of vitamins.

It is important for researchers to note that this study found only two conditions that frequently occur at the same time. No causality is proven. Melzer and colleagues are planning further clinical trials.

Experts believe that half of Americans have vitamin D deficiency, more than African Americans, Hispanics, and those living in areas where it is difficult to get enough sunlight in the winter, such as Chicago. A high rate can be seen.

However, studies have also shown that some types of vitamin D tests do not detect the form of vitamin D that is present in the majority of African Americans. The current study accepted either type of test as a criterion.

COVID-19 is also more popular African American, Senior citizens, Nursing home Residents and Healthcare Professionals — Everyone is at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency.

“Understanding whether treatment for vitamin D deficiency alters the risk of COVID-19 can be very important locally, nationally, and globally,” says Melzer. “Vitamin D is cheap, very safe to take in general, and can be spread extensively.”

Melzer and his team emphasize the importance of experimental studies to determine whether vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of COVID-19 and, in some cases, its severity. They also emphasize the need for research into which strategies for vitamin D supplementation may be most appropriate for a particular population.

The study was funded by the University of Chicago / Rush University Institute of Translational Medicine Clinical and Translational Science Awards and the African-American Cardiovascular Pharmagenetics Consortium.

Source: Gretchen Rubin for University of Chicago

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