Impact of vitamin D deficiency on COVID-19
Analysis of vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 cases and deaths in 47 countries, showing vitamin D deficiency significantly associated with mortality.
Sooriyaarachchi et al., 29 May 2021, peer-reviewed, 4 authors.
Abstract: Clinical Nutrition ESPEN 44 (2021) 372e378
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Clinical Nutrition ESPEN
journal homepage: http://www.clinicalnutritionespen.com
Impact of vitamin D deﬁciency on COVID-19
Piumika Sooriyaarachchi a, b, Dhanushya T. Jeyakumar b, c, Neil King a,
Ranil Jayawardena a, d, *
Queensland University of Technology, School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Health and Wellness Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Department of Biosystems Technology, Faculty of Technology, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka
a r t i c l e i n f o
s u m m a r y
Received 11 May 2021
Accepted 14 May 2021
Background & aims: COVID-19 has emerged as a global pandemic affecting millions of people. Vitamin D
deﬁciency is one of the risk factors for increased susceptibility to COVID-19. This study aimed to examine
the correlation between the prevalence of vitamin D deﬁciency and COVID-19 infection and mortality
rates among the adult population in European and Asian continents.
Methods: Prevalence of vitamin D deﬁciency in each country was retrieved through literature searching
on PubMed® database for the last ten years. As of December, 31st 2020, COVID-19 infections and mortalities per million population were extracted from the ‘real time’ statistics of the Worldometer website.
The association between both vitamin D deﬁciency and COVID-19 infections and mortalities were
Results: Forty seven countries were included in the analysis. The prevalence of vitamin D deﬁciency
ranged from 6.9 to 81.8% in European countries and 2.0e87.5% in Asian countries. Signiﬁcantly positive
correlations were observed for both COVID-19 infection (r ¼ 0.76; p < 0.001) and mortality rates
(r ¼ 0.75; p < 0.001) in the Asian continent. The correlation values for the infections and mortality rates
in the European continent were (r ¼ 0.37; p ¼ 0.08) and (r ¼ 0.43; p ¼ 0.04) respectively. When both the
continents were combined, the correlation results for both infection (r ¼ 0.42; p ¼ 0.003) and mortality
(r ¼ 0.35; p ¼ 0.016) rates with vitamin D deﬁciency values remained signiﬁcant.
Conclusion: Prevalence of vitamin D deﬁciency was signiﬁcantly associated with the mortality rate of
COVID-19 in Europe and Asia. The association between the infection rate and prevalence of vitamin D
deﬁciency was signiﬁcant for Asia only. Both the associations were signiﬁcant when the two continents
were combined in the analysis. Therefore we suggest that vitamin D supplementation could play a key
role in the prevention and/or treatment of the COVID-19 patients.
© 2021 European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights
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