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Poor COVID-19 prognosis was 6 X more likely if low vitamin D – Jan 21, 2021

Vitamin D Deficiency and Low Serum Calcium as Predictors of Poor Prognosis in Patients with Severe COVID-19

J Am Coll Nutr. 2021 Jan 12;1-11. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2020.1856013
Salam Bennouar 1, Abdelghani Bachir Cherif 2, Amel Kessira 3, Djamel-Eddine Bennouar 3, Samia Abdi 1 (Algeria)


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Background: The severity of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a multifactorial condition. An increasing body of evidence argues for a direct implication of vitamin D deficiency, low serum calcium on poor outcomes in COVID-19 patients. This study was designed to investigate the relationship between these two factors and COVID-19 in-hospital mortality.

Materials: This is a prospective study, including 120 severe cases of COVID-19, admitted at the department of Reanimation-Anesthesia. Vitamin D was assessed by an immuno-fluoroassay method. Total serum calcium by a colorimetric method, then, corrected for serum albumin levels. The association with in-hospital mortality was assessed using the Kaplan-Meier survival curve, proportional Cox regression analyses and the receiver operating characteristic curve.

Results: Hypovitaminosis D and hypocalcemia were very common, occurring in 75% and 35.8% of patients. When analyzing survival, both were significantly associated with in-hospital mortality in a dose-effect manner (pLog-Rank = 0.009 and 0.001 respectively). A cutoff value of 39 nmol/l for vitamin D and 2.05 mmol/l for corrected calcemia could predict poor prognosis with a sensitivity of 76% and 84%, and a specificity of 69% and 60% respectively.
Hazard ratios were (HR = 6.9, 95% CI [2.0-24.1], p = 0.002 and HR = 6.2, 95% CI [2.1-18.3], p = 0.001) respectively.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates the high frequency of hypocalcemia and hypovitaminosis D in severe COVID-19 patients and provides further evidence of their potential link to poor short-term prognosis. It is, therefore, possible that the correction of hypocalcemia, as well as supplementation with vitamin D, may improve the vital prognosis.

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