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25(OH)D levels during the COVID-19 pandemic: impact of lockdown and ultraviolet radiation

Ramírez-Stieben et al., Gaceta Médica de México, doi:10.24875/gmm.m23000770
Jul 2023  
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Analysis of the impact of COVID-19 lockdown policies on vitamin D levels in Argentina. Vitamin D levels were lower in 2020 compared to 2019, especially during the first wave of COVID-19 from September-November 2020. Levels decreased after the mandatory preventive social isolation (MPSI) period from March-June 2020 compared to during the MPSI period. This suggests lockdown policies that reduced sun exposure lowered vitamin D levels. Lower vitamin D levels and higher deficiency correlated with the first COVID-19 wave, when there was a significant increase in cases and deaths. Similar differences were not seen when comparing the same periods in 2019, suggesting lockdown policies specifically impacted vitamin D levels in 2020. UV radiation doses did not differ between 2019 and 2020, indicating changes in vitamin D were not due to differences in UV exposure.
Ramírez-Stieben et al., 26 Jul 2023, retrospective, Argentina, peer-reviewed, 7 authors. Contact:
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25(OH)D levels during the COVID-19 pandemic: impact of lockdown and ultraviolet radiation
Luis A Ramírez-Stieben, Fernando Nollas, Suita Gloria, Marina V Belardinelli, Estefanía Pustilnik, Diamela Bolzán, Rodolfo N Feldman
Gaceta Médica de México, doi:10.24875/gmm.m23000770
Background: Home confinement policies during the COVID-19 pandemic limited sun exposure and may have influenced on vitamin D levels. Objective: To assess changes in 25(OH)D during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of Mandatory Preventive Social Isolation (MPSI) on UV radiation recommended dose modified by clouds for the synthesis of vitamin D (UVDVC). Material and methods: A retrospective study was carried out on 15,908 patients in whom the level of 25(OH)D was determined between January 2019 and December 2021 in a centralized laboratory in Rosario, Argentina. Results: Lower levels of 25(OH)D were documented in people younger than 40 years during 2020, as well as a variation during the pandemic period, with lower values in the first wave. Lower levels of 25(OH)D were recorded in the post-MPSI period in comparison with the MPSI period (p < 0.00001), in addition to a higher frequency of hypovitaminosis D (48.6% vs. 36.1%). These differences were not observed in the comparison of the same periods of 2019. UVDVC did not vary between 2019 and 2020. Conclusions: The restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to a higher frequency of hypovitaminosis D and lower frequency of optimal values.
Financing The article did not require funding or receive compensation to carry out the work. Conflicts of interest The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. Ethical disclosures Protection of human and animal subjects. The authors declare no experiments were performed on humans or animals for this research. Confidentiality of data. The authors declare that they followed the protocols of their work center on the publication of patient data. Right to privacy and informed consent. The authors obtained approval from the ethics committee for analysis and publication of routinely obtained clinical data. Patient informed consent was not required given that this was an observational, retrospective study.
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