Endocr Res. 2020 Dec 30:1-8. doi: 10.1080/07435800.2020.1867162. Online ahead of print.
Context: Populations severely affected by COVID-19 are also at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Common risk factors include older age, chronic illness, obesity, and non-Caucasian race. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with risk for respiratory infections and failure, susceptibility and response to therapy for enveloped virus infection, and immune-mediated inflammatory reaction. Objective: To test the hypothesis that 25-hydroxyvitamin D[25(OH)D] deficiency is a risk factor for severity of COVID-19 respiratory and inflammatory complications. Design: We examined the relationship between prehospitalization 25(OH)D levels (obtained 1-365 days prior to admission) and COVID-19 clinical outcomes in 700 COVID-19 positive hospitalized patients. Primary Outcomes: Discharge status, mortality, length of stay, intubation status, renal replacement. Secondary Outcomes: Inflammatory markers. Results: 25(OH)D levels were available in 93 patients [25(OH)D:25(IQR:17-33)ng/mL]. Compared to those without 25(OH)D levels, those with measurements did not differ in age, BMI or distribution of sex and race, but were more likely to have comorbidities. Those with 25(OH)D < 20 ng/mL (n = 35) did not differ from those with 25(OH)D ≥ 20 ng/mL in terms of age, sex, race, BMI, or comorbidities. Low 25(OH)D tended to be associated with younger age and lower frequency of preexisting pulmonary disease. There were no significant between-group differences in any outcome. Results were similar in those ≥50 years, in male/female-only cohorts, and when differing 25(OH)D thresholds were used (<15 ng/mL and <30 ng/mL). There was no relationship between 25(OH)D as a continuous variable and any outcome, even after controlling for age and pulmonary disease. Conclusions: These preliminary data do not support a relationship between prehospitalization vitamin D status and COVID-19 clinical outcomes.