Low serum levels of zinc and 25-hydroxyvitmain D as potential risk factors for COVID-19 susceptibility: a pilot case-control study
Ghanei et al.
, Low serum levels of zinc and 25-hydroxyvitmain D as potential risk factors for COVID-19 susceptibility: a..
, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, doi:10.1038/s41430-022-01095-5
Case control study with 90 COVID-19 cases and 95 matched controls in Iran, showing significantly lower zinc levels for cases.
Ghanei et al., 23 Mar 2022, prospective, Iran, peer-reviewed, 6 authors, study period 20 March, 2020 - 20 January, 2021.
Abstract: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Nutrition in acute and chronic diseases
Low serum levels of zinc and 25-hydroxyvitmain D as potential
risk factors for COVID-19 susceptibility: a pilot case-control
Esmat Ghanei1,2,5, Moein Baghani3,5, Hamideh Moravvej3, Atefeh Talebi4, Ayda bahmanjahromi
Fahimeh Abdollahimajd 2,3
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2022, corrected publication 2022
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: This study aimed to evaluate serum 25-hydroxyvitmain D and zinc levels in coronavirus disease 2019
(COVID-19) patients in comparison to healthy subjects.
METHODS: This was a single-center case-control study performed from March 20, 2020, to January 20, 2021, in Tehran, Iran. All
patients diagnosed with COVID-19 based on a positive nasopharyngeal swab polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test were included in
the case group. Controls were selected from patients referred for routine checkups who had a negative COVID-19 PCR test. Age, sex,
marital and educational status, comorbidities, and serum 25-hydroxyvitmain D and zinc levels of patients were recorded.
RESULTS: Ninety patients in the case group and 95 subjects in the control group who were sex and age-matched were studied. 25hydroxyvitmain D levels higher than 20 ng/ml were observed in 58 (64%) cases and 72 (76%) controls (P = 0.09). The median 25hydroxyvitmain D level in the case group was signiﬁcantly lower than controls (26 (interquartile range [IQR] = 24) ng/ml vs. 38
(IQR = 22) ng/ml, respectively, P < 0.01). The median zinc level in the case group was 56 (IQR = 23) mcg/dL, while it was 110
(IQR = 27) mcg/dL among the controls (P < 0.01). There was no signiﬁcant difference in the level of 25-hydroxyvitmain D and zinc
between cases with and without comorbidities (P > 0.05). Susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection could be predicted by serum 25hydroxyvitmain D levels below 25.2 ng/ml (81% sensitivity; 48% speciﬁcity) or zinc levels below 86.3 mcg/dL (93% sensitivity; 92%
CONCLUSIONS: Low serum zinc and 25-hydroxyvitmain D levels appear to be risk factors for COVID-19 afﬂiction; thus, the
treatment of individuals with such deﬁciencies is recommended.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-022-01095-5
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