WASHINGTON--Over 80 percent of 200 COVID-19 patients in a hospital in Spain have vitamin D deficiency, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Vitamin D is a hormone the kidneys produce that controls blood calcium concentration and impacts the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a variety of health concerns, although research is still underway into why the hormone impacts other systems of the body. Many studies point to the beneficial effect of vitamin D on the immune system, especially regarding protection against infections.
"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 study co-author José L. Hernández, Ph.D., 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 researchers found 80 percent of 216 COVID-19 patients at the Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla had vitamin D deficiency, and men had lower vitamin D levels than women. COVID-19 patients with lower vitamin D levels also had raised serum levels of inflammatory markers such as ferritin and D-dimer.
Other authors of the study include: Daniel Nan, José M. Olmos, Javier Crespo, and Víctor M. Martínez-Taboada of the University of Cantabria; Marta Fernandez-Ayala, Mayte García-Unzueta, Miguel A. Hernández-Hernández, Marcos López-Hoyos, Manuel Gutiérrez-Cuadra, and Juan J. Ruiz-Cubillán of the Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla-IDIVAL in Santander, Spain; Pedro Muñoz Cacho of the Servicio Cántabro de Salud in Santander, Spain;
The manuscript received funding from Instituto de Salud Carlos III.
The manuscript, "Vitamin D Status in Hospitalized Patients With SARS-Cov-2 Infection," was published online, ahead of print.
Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.
The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at?http://www.