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12 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Vitamin D levels affect Covid-19 mortality, analysts say

By Samuel Horti

Vitamin D may protect from Covid-19 infection and dampen the symptoms of the disease, analysts from GlobalData have said following a series of recent studies on the subject.

Johanna Swanson, product manager at GlobalData, said: “One of the recent vitamin D studies demonstrated that in 20 European countries, an association exists between low levels of vitamin D and higher numbers of Covid-19 cases and mortality. Vitamin D levels are found to be severely low for the older population in these countries, especially in Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. As these are some of the more vulnerable populations to developing Covid-19, this might play an important role in vulnerability to the disease.”

Swanson also points to another recent study from Indonesia of 780 Covid-19 patients, which showed the majority of people that died had below-normal vitamin D levels, and that vitamin D status was strongly associated with Covid-19 mortality.

Previous studies have found a link between low vitamin D levels and susceptibility to respiratory tract infections. 

Low vitamin D levels are associated with numerous factors including older age, less sun in the winter, darker skin pigmentation, exposure to less sunlight, and diet. Individuals in institutions, such as hospitals and care homes, are more likely to be severely deficient in vitamin D due to lack of sun exposure or diet.

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