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While children do not tend to be as severely affected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the resulting effects of COVID-19, they are certainly not immune to it, and there is concern that children who carry the virus but are asymptomatic are a contributor to its spread.
Children are also not ‘immune’ to vitamin D deficiency – in fact, a previous post shared data from the US NHANES data set showing that vitamin D levels decline as children age, with a 4-fold increase in the proportion of children below 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L) from ages 0-4 years up to ages 13-17 years old.
To answer this question, Kamil Yilmaz and Velat Sen conducted a study in which they enrolled 85 children between the ages of 1 month to 18 years, 40 of whom had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and hospitalized, and 45 who were healthy controls. Children with chronic diseases and other co-morbidities were excluded from the study.
Children diagnosed with COVID-19 were divided into two groups for analysis – Group 1 included children who had a vitamin D level below 20 ng/ml, and Group 2 included those with levels at or above 20 ng/ml.
The study found a significant difference in vitamin D levels between the children with COVID-19, who had a median level of 13 ng/ml (32 nmol/L), and the control group, with a median level of 35 ng/ml (87 nmol/L).
When disease severity for the children who were diagnosed with COVID-19 was analyzed according to vitamin D level, a trend was found showing increased disease severity for those with lower vitamin D levels. In fact, among those with a vitamin D level below 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L), 31% of the children had moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms, compared to only 18% with moderate symptoms (none classified as severe) for those children with vitamin D levels of 20 ng/ml or higher. Additionally, 46% of the children with higher vitamin D levels were asymptomatic, compared to 10% of those with lower vitamin D levels.
The study also found a significant negative correlation between vitamin D level and the chance of getting a fever (defined as a temperature above 100.4 F or 38 C, p=0.023), meaning that as vitamin D levels increased, the chance of fever decreased. Overall, none of the children with a vitamin D level of at least 20 ng/ml had a fever, while 34.5% of those with levels below 20 ng/ml did.
-  Download the Study PDF from VitaminDWiki
- COVID-19 treated by Vitamin D - studies, reports, videos
As of Jan 19 had: 34 trials, 4 trial results, 12 meta-analyses and reviews, 43 observations, 24 recommendations, 41 associations, 83 speculations, 36 videos see also COVID-19 and Vitamin D: Governments. Health problems. Hospitals
Items in both categories Children and Virus are listed here:
- 13 possible reasons why COVID-19 is less severe in children – Dec 1, 2020
- Vitamin D associated with reduced COVID-19 risks in children - GRH Nov 2020
- Children with low vitamin D far more likely to hospitalized with COVID-19 – Oct 2020
- Respiratory viral infection (RSV) and low vitamin D – July 2020
- Increased weight in children 8X more likely for each unit increase in adenovirus (if ignore Vitamin D) – Nov 2019
- Severe hand, foot, and mouth virus is 2.9 X more likely if poor Vitamin D receptor – Oct 2018
- More US infants die in 1st day than in all other developed countries COMBINED (and US gives vaccine in first day) – May 2013
- Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease (virus) strongly associated with low vitamin D – May 2017
- Half the risk of Influenza -A in infants taking 1200 IU of vitamin D for 4 months – RCT Jan 2018
- Child is 2 X more likely to get influenza if have older sibling (perhaps closely-spaced birth) – Sept 2017
Items in both categories Children and Immunity are listed here:
- Infant and child immunity depends on Vitamin D and two Vitamin D genes – Review April 2020
- Lower Respiratory Tract Infection in Infants reduced 5.9 X by daily 600 IU of vitamin D (China) - March 2020
- I have a PhD in immunology and this is how I keep my daughter from getting sick during the winter
- Preemie immunity (Treg) vastly improved by 800 IU of Vitamin D daily – RCT July 2019
- Treatment of neonate sepsis greatly aided by Vitamin D – RCT June 2019
- Infection in first six months of life: White 69 percent, Black, 78 percent – Jan 2018
- Vitamin D does not help children (if only use 400 IU of D3 or D2 or quarterly) – Cochrane Nov 2016
- Vitamin D improves a child’s immune system – can now be claimed in Europe – Sept 2016
- Rotavirus diarrhea (nearly every child gets it) is strongly associated with low vitamin D – Aug 2015
- Immune System response of infants is associated with higher levels of vitamin D – RCT Nov 2014
- Infant sepsis strongly associated with low vitamin D – Aug 2014
- Middle ear infection (Otitis Media) and Vitamin D – many studies
- Tonsillectomy may be an indicator of low vitamin D status
- Many infant infections avoided with supplementation with 400 IU of vitamin D – Oct 2012
- Children with TB vaccinations became 6X more likely to have vitamin D gt than 30 ng – Jan 2012