Coronavirus: Large number of COVID-19 patients tested in study had vitamin D deficiency

A large number of COVID-19 hospital patients have been found to have low levels of vitamin D, according to a new study.

Researchers found that 82% of coronavirus patients, out of the 216 tested, had a vitamin D deficiency, with men more affected than women.

This was compared to a control group where 47% of people who didn’t have the virus were deficient.

Patients, who were tested at the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital in Spain, also showed increased serum levels of inflammatory markers such as ferritin and D-dimer when they had low levels of vitamin D.

Levels of inflammatory markers rise in the body when it is fighting off an infection.

Researchers did not find an association between the levels of vitamin D and the severity of COVID-19, including the need to be admitted into intensive care, ventilation or death.

Dr Jose Hernandez, one of the researchers based at the University of Cantabria in Spain, said: “One approach is to identify and treat vitamin D deficiency, especially in high-risk individuals such as the elderly, patients with comorbidities, and nursing home residents, who are the main target population for the COVID-19.”

He added: “Vitamin D treatment should be recommended in COVID-19 patients with low levels of vitamin D circulating in the blood since this approach might have beneficial effects in both the musculoskeletal and the immune system.”

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Vitamin D is a hormone produced by the kidneys to help control the concentration of calcium in the blood and has been linked to various health issues.

It is believed to have an impact on the immune system, with research suggesting that normal levels could help the body fight off infections.

The research has been peer reviewed and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Previous studies have found sufficient levels of vitamin D make people less likely to experience complications and die from coronavirus, while some research also suggests that it could reduce rates of infection.

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