MONDAY, Feb. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For hospitalized COVID-19 patients, preinfection vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased likelihood of severe or critical disease, according to a study published online Feb. 3 in PLOS ONE.

Amiel A. Dror, M.D., Ph.D., from the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, Israel, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study to examine the correlation between preinfection serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) severity and mortality. Historical levels of 25(OH)D measured 14 to 730 days before a positive polymerase chain reaction test for SARS-CoV-2 were examined among individuals admitted with COVID-19 between April 7, 2020, and Feb. 4, 2021.

The researchers found that 253 of the 1,176 patients admitted had records of a 25(OH)D level prior to COVID-19 infection. Patients with severe or critical disease more often had a lower vitamin D status (<20 ng/mL) than those with mild-to-moderate disease (87.4 versus 34.3 percent). The likelihood of severe or critical disease was increased 14-fold for patients with vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/mL) versus those with high-normal vitamin D (≥40 ng/mL; odds ratio, 14).

“This study contributes to a continually evolving body of evidence suggesting that a patient’s history of vitamin D deficiency is a predictive risk factor associated with poorer COVID-19 clinical disease course and mortality,” a coauthor said in a statement. “It is still unclear why certain individuals suffer severe consequences of COVID-19 infection while others don’t. Our finding adds a new dimension to solving this puzzle.”

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