COVID-19 patients at a hospital in Spain were overwhelmingly found to be deficient in vitamin D, according to a new study.
Researchers discovered 80% of 216 COVID-19 patients at the Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla had a vitamin D deficiency. Men had lower levels of vitamin D than women and COVID-19 patients with lower levels of vitamin D had increased serum levels of inflammatory markers such as ferritin, a blood protein containing iron, and D-dimer, a protein fragment made when a blood clot dissolves in the body. The latter is usually elevated in COVID-19 patients, according to a July study published in the “Journal of Intensive Care.”
“One approach is to identify and treat vitamin D deficiency, especially in high-risk individuals such as the elderly, patients with comorbidities, and nursing home residents, who are the main target population for the COVID-19,” said the new study’s co-author Dr. José L. Hernández of the University of Cantabria in Santander, Spain. “Vitamin D treatment should be recommended in COVID-19 patients with low levels of vitamin D circulating in the blood since this approach might have beneficial effects in both the musculoskeletal and the immune system.”
The new findings were announced Tuesday by the Endocrine Society and published in the medical organization’s “Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.”