Jerusalem: Vitamin D levels prior to Covid infection, may increase severity of the disease as well risk of mortality, finds a study.
Vitamin D is most often recognised for its role in bone health, but low levels of the supplement have been associated with a range of autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases.
Early on in the pandemic health officials began to encourage people to take Vitamin D, as it plays a role in promoting immune response and could protect against Covid-19.
The study led by researchers from Bar-Ilan University in Safed, Israel, found that patients with vitamin D deficiency (less than 20 ng/mL) were 14 times more likely to have severe or critical case of Covid than those with more than 40 ng/mL.
Strikingly, mortality among patients with sufficient vitamin D levels was 2.3 per cent, in contrast to 25.6 perA cent in the vitamin D deficient group.
The findings are published in the journal PLOS ONE.
"Our results suggest that it is advisable to maintain normal levels of vitamin D. This will be beneficial to those who contract the virus," said Amiel Dror, from the Galilee Medical Center and Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University, who led the study.
"There is a clear consensus for vitamin D supplementation on a regular basis as advised by local health authorities as well as global health organisations," Dror added.
The team analysed records of 1,176 patients admitted between April 2020 and February 2021 to the Galilee Medical Center (GMC) with positive PCR tests were searched for vitamin D levels measured two weeks to two years prior to infection.
The study adjusted for age, gender, season (summer/winter), chronic diseases, and found similar results across the board highlighting that low vitamin D level contributes significantly to disease severity and mortality.
"This study contributes to a continually evolving body of evidence suggesting that a patient's history of vitamin D deficiency is a predictive risk factor associated with poorer Covid-19 clinical disease course and mortality," said co-author Prof.A Michael Edelstein, from the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine.
"It is still unclear why certain individuals suffer severe consequences of Covid-19 infection while others don't. Our finding adds a new dimension to solving this puzzle," he added. (Agency)
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