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Likely Deficient Vitamin D Status Linked to COVID-19 Risk

Risk for testing positive for COVID-19 increased for likely deficient versus likely sufficient vitamin D groups

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FRIDAY, Sept. 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Likely deficient vitamin D status is associated with an increased risk for COVID-19, according to a study published online Sept. 3 in JAMA Network Open.

David O. Meltzer, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Chicago, and colleagues examined whether the last vitamin D status before COVID-19 testing is associated with COVID-19 test results in a retrospective cohort study. Data were included for 489 patients with a vitamin D level measured in the year preceding COVID-19 testing.

The researchers found that vitamin D status before COVID-19 testing was likely deficient, likely sufficient, and uncertain for 25, 59, and 16 percent of participants, respectively. Seventy-one participants (15 percent) tested positive for COVID-19. Testing positive for COVID-19 was associated with increasing age up to age 50 years, non-White race, and likely deficient versus likely sufficient vitamin D status (relative risks, 1.06, 2.54, and 1.77, respectively) in a multivariable analysis. In the deficient and sufficient vitamin D groups, the predicted COVID-19 rates were 21.6 and 12.2 percent, respectively.

"Understanding whether treating vitamin D deficiency changes COVID-19 risk could be of great importance locally, nationally, and globally," Meltzer said in a statement. "Vitamin D is inexpensive, generally very safe to take, and can be widely scaled."

One author disclosed studying novel compounds for prevention or treatment of viral infections, for which patent protection may be sought.

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