Document Type



1.6 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, Public and environmental health

Publication Details


COVID-19 and a low vitamin D state share common risk factors, which might explain why vitamin D deficiency has been linked with higher COVID-19 mortality. Moreover, measures of serum vitamin D may become lower during systemic inflammatory responses, further confounding the association via reverse causality. In this prospective study (recruited over 12 months), we examined whether the association between a low vitamin D state and in-hospital mortality due to SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in unvaccinated subjects is explained by (i) the presence of shared risk factors (e.g., obesity, advanced age) or (ii) a reduction in serum 25(OH)D due to COVID-19 (i.e., reverse causality). In this cohort of 232 (mean age = 56 years) patients (all had SARS-CoV-2 diagnosed via PCR AND required supplemental oxygen therapy), we failed to find an association between serum vitamin D and levels of CRP, or other inflammatory markers. However, the hazard ratio for mortality for subjects over 70 years of age (13.2) and for subjects with a serum 25(OH)D level less than 30 nmol·L−1 (4.6) remained significantly elevated even after adjustment for gender, obesity and the presence of diabetes mellitus. Subjects70 years had significantly higher mortality with a serum 25(OH)D less than 30 nmol·L−1 (11.8% and 55%), than with a serum 25(OH)D greater than 30 nmol·L−1 (2.2% and 25%). Unvaccinated Caucasian adults with a low vitamin D state have higher mortality due to SARS CoV-2 pneumonia, which is not explained by confounders and is not closely linked with elevated serum CRP.



This research received no external funding.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.