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Twice as likely to die during neurological critical care if low vitamin D – July 2016

A prospective analysis of hypovitaminosis D and mortality in 400 patients in the neurocritical care setting.

J Neurosurg. 2016 Jul 1:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]
Guan J1, Karsy M1, Brock AA1, Eli IM1, Ledyard HK2, Hawryluk GW1, Park MS1.
1Departments of 1 Neurosurgery and.
2Neurology, Clinical Neurosciences Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

OBJECTIVE Hypovitaminosis D is highly prevalent among the general population. Studies have shown an association between hypovitaminosis D and multiple negative outcomes in critical care patients, but there has been no prospective evaluation of vitamin D in the neurological critical care population. The authors examined the impact of vitamin D deficiency on in-hospital mortality and a variety of secondary outcomes.

METHODS The authors prospectively collected 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels of all patients admitted to the neurocritical care unit (NCCU) of a quaternary-care center over a 3-month period. Demographic data, illness acuity, in-hospital mortality, infection, and length of hospitalization were collected. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression were used to examine the effects of vitamin D deficiency.

RESULTS Four hundred fifteen patients met the inclusion criteria.

  • In-hospital mortality was slightly worse (9.3% vs 4.5%; p = 0.059) among patients with deficient vitamin D (= 20 ng/dl).
  • There was also a higher rate of urinary tract infection in patients with vitamin D deficiency (12.4% vs 4.2%; p = 0.002).

For patients admitted to the NCCU on an emergency basis (n = 285), higher Simplified Acute Physiology Score II (OR 13.8, 95% CI 1.7-110.8; p = 0.014), and vitamin D deficiency (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.0-8.6; p = 0.042) were significantly associated with increased in-hospital mortality after adjusting for other factors.

CONCLUSIONS In the subset of patients admitted to the NCCU on an emergency basis, vitamin D deficiency is significantly associated with higher in-hospital mortality. Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings and to investigate the role of vitamin D supplementation in these patients.

PMID: 27367248

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