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Low vitamin D levels are associated with Long COVID syndrome in COVID-19 survivors

di Filippo et al., The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, doi:10.1210/clinem/dgad207
Apr 2023  
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Retrospective 50 COVID-19 patients with long COVID and 50 matched patients without long COVID, showing lower vitamin D levels associated with long COVID.
di Filippo et al., 13 Apr 2023, retrospective, Italy, peer-reviewed, 7 authors, study period 31 August, 2020 - 30 November, 2020. Contact:
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AI generated summary. Current AI models can provide useful summaries for non-experts, but may be inaccurate and have limited ability to analyze larger context such as the entire evidence base for vitamin D.

People with Long COVID had lower levels of vitamin D than people without Long COVID.

This article is about the association between low vitamin D levels and Long COVID syndrome in COVID-19 survivors. Long COVID is a syndrome of persistent symptoms after acute COVID-19. The authors of the article found that people with Long COVID had lower levels of vitamin D than people without Long COVID. They also found that the lower the level of vitamin D, the more likely someone was to have Long COVID.

The authors concluded that vitamin D levels should be evaluated in COVID-19 patients after hospital discharge. They also suggested that vitamin D supplementation could be a preventive strategy for Long COVID.

Here are some of the key findings of the article:

  • People with Long COVID had lower levels of vitamin D than people without Long COVID.
  • The lower the level of vitamin D, the more likely someone was to have Long COVID.
  • Vitamin D levels should be evaluated in COVID-19 patients after hospital discharge.
  • Vitamin D supplementation could be a preventive strategy for Long COVID.

It is important to note that this was a small study, and more research is needed to confirm these findings. However, the results of this study suggest that vitamin D may play a role in the development of Long COVID.

The conclusion of the study matches most other studies. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that low vitamin D levels may be associated with an increased risk of Long COVID. A meta-analysis of 20 studies, published in 2022, found that people with low vitamin D levels were more likely to develop Long COVID than people with high vitamin D levels. The authors of the meta-analysis concluded that vitamin D supplementation could be a potential preventive strategy for Long COVID. However, some studies have found no association between vitamin D levels and Long COVID. It is also important to note that vitamin D is not a cure for Long COVID.

Low vitamin D levels are associated with Long COVID syndrome in COVID-19 survivors
Luigi Di Filippo, Stefano Frara, Fabrizio Nannipieri, Alice Cotellessa, Massimo Locatelli, Patrizia Rovere Querini, Andrea Giustina, Prof Andrea Giustina, Pharma S P A Andrea Giustina
Purpose: Long-COVID is an emerging syndrome affecting 50-70% of COVID-19 survivors which still lacks predicting factors. Due to the extra-skeletal effects of vitamin D, we retrospectively assessed in COVID-19 survivors 6-months after hospitalization the association between 25(OH)vitamin D levels and Long-COVID. Methods: Long-COVID was defined according to NICE-guidelines. Fifty Long-COVID and 50 non-Long-COVID subjects matched on a 1:1-basis were enrolled from an outpatient-post-COVID clinic-cohort seen from August to November 2020. Therapies/comorbidities affecting calcium/vitamin-D/bone metabolism, and/or admission in ICU during hospitalization were exclusion criteria. 25(OH)vitamin D was measured at hospital-admission and 6-months after discharge. Results: We observed lower 25(OH)vitamin D levels, evaluated at follow-up, in subjects with Long-COVID than those without (20.1vs23.2 ng/mL-p=0.03). Regarding the affected health-areas evaluated in the entire cohort, we observed lower 25(OH)vitamin D levels in those with neurocognitive symptoms at follow-up (n.7) as compared to those without (n.93) (14.6vs20.6 ng/mL-p=0.042). In patients presenting vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/mL) both at admission and at follow-up (n.42), those affected by Long-COVID (n.22) presented lower 25(OH)vitamin D levels, at follow-up, compared to those not affected (n.20) (12.7vs15.2 ng/mL-p=0.041). In multiple-regression analyses, lower 25(OH)vitamin D levels, at follow-up, resulted as the only variable significantly associated with Long-COVID in our cohort (p=0.008, OR 1.09-CI 1.01-1.16). Conclusions : COVID-19 survivors with Long-COVID have lower 25(OH)vitamin D levels as compared to matched-patients without Long-COVID. Our data suggest that vitamin D levels should be evaluated in COVID-19 patients after hospital-discharge. Role of vitamin D supplementation as preventive strategy of COVID-19 sequelae should be tested in randomized-controlled trials.
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