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Impact of vitamin D deficiency on COVID-19

Sooriyaarachchi et al., Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, doi:10.1016/j.clnesp.2021.05.011
May 2021  
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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.
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Impact of vitamin D deficiency on COVID-19
Piumika Sooriyaarachchi, Dhanushya T Jeyakumar, Neil King, Ranil Jayawardena
Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, doi:10.1016/j.clnesp.2021.05.011
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, 31 st 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 explored. 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.
Authors' contributions RJ devised the conceptual idea. PS and DTJ searched databases. PS and DTJ were involved in retrieving data and analysis. PS and RJ drafted the manuscript. NK revised the manuscript. All authors provided critical feedback on the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Ethics declarations Not applicable. Declaration of competing interest The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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