Strong Correlation Between Prevalence of Severe Vitamin D Deficiency and Population Mortality Rate from COVID-19 in Europe
Preprint doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.24.20138644
Isaac Z. Pugach, M.D. (Complete Med Care, Dallas, Texas), and
Sofya Pugach, M.D., Ph.D., MPH (Complete Med Care, Dallas, Texas) drpugach at yahoo.com
Background: SARS-CoV-2 virus causes a very wide range of COVID-19 disease severity in humans: from completely asymptomatic to fatal, and the reasons behind it are often not understood. There is some data that Vitamin D may have protective effect, so authors decided to analyze European country-wide data to determine if Vitamin D levels are associated with COVID-19 population death rate.
Methods: To retrieve the Vitamin D levels data, authors analyzed the Vitamin D European population data compiled by 2019 ECTS Statement on Vitamin D Status published in the European Journal of Endocrinology. For the data set to used for analysis, only recently published data, that included general adult population of both genders ages 40-65 or wider, and must have included the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency.
Results: There were 10 countries data sets that fit the criteria and were analyzed. Severe Vitamin D deficiency was defined as 25(OH)D less than 25 nmol/L (10 ng/dL). Pearson correlation analysis between death rate per million from COVID-19 and prevalence of severe Vitamin D deficiency shows a strong correlation with r = 0.76, p = 0.01, indicating significant correlation. Correlation remained significant, even after adjusting for age structure of the population. Additionally, over time, correlation strengthened, and r coefficient asymptoticaly increased.
Conclusions: Authors recommend universal screening for Vitamin D deficiency, and further investigation of Vitamin D supplementation in randomized control studies, which may lead to possible treatment or prevention of COVID-19.