Doctors in Spain have found that over 80 percent of COVID-19 patients have shown deficient levels of a prehormone produced from vitamin D.
The study was published on the online edition of the ‘Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism’ (JCEM) yesterday (Tuesday).
It was conducted by doctors at the Marques de Valdecilla University Hospital-Institute of Investigation of Valdecilla (IDIVAL), located in the Spanish city of Santander in the autonomous community of Cantabria.
The investigation was a “retrospective case-control study” that included 216 patients aged 18 or above who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 between 10th to 31st March of this year.
A control group of 197 “sex-matched” people were also studied, according to the report. Of the 216 patients, 19 were tested separately because they were already on vitamin D supplements.
Doctors looked at serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels which is a prehormone made in the liver that doctors use to measure the vitamin D levels in people.
The results showed that COVID-19 patients had a mean level of 13.8 +/- 7.2 ng/ml of 25OHD while the control group had 20.9 +/- 7.4 ng/ml.
The report said “vitamin D deficiency was found in 82.2 percent of COVID-19 cases and 47.2 percent of population-based controls”.
It adds that patients with a deficiency had a “greater prevalence of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases” as well as a “longer length of hospital stay than those” with vitamin D readings equal or greater to 20ng/ml.
The same study concluded that it “did not find any relationship between vitamin D concentrations or vitamin deficiency and the severity of the disease”.
However, it adds that “prevention strategies should be implemented” and “vitamin D treatment should be recommended” in patients deficient with serum 25OHD because it “might have beneficial effects in both the musculoskeletal and the immune system”.
The study was funded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III and the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, which included funds from the European Union.