Low Serum Vitamin D Levels Association with COVID 19 Susceptibility, Severity and Mortality


Amongst all indecisiveness of whether or not Vitamin D levels have any association with COVID 19 susceptibility, severity and mortality, numerous studies are coming up in an attempt to evaluate the possibilities but the results are conflicting. A recent meta-analysis (Akbar, 2021) was conducted on 14 studies and 999,179 participants to end these controversies and come to a concluding remark.

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The key results of the meta-analysis which marked its cut off for low vitamin D levels to 20-30 ng/ml can be highlighted as below:

  • Low serum 25-OHD was associated with higher rate of COVID-19 infection compared to the control group
    • Individuals with low serum Vitamin D levels are 2.71 times more probable to be infected with COVID 19 as compared individuals with normal Vitamin D levels (OR = 2.71 [1.72, 4.29], p < 0.001)
  • Higher rate of severe COVID-19 was observed in patients with low serum 25-OHD
    • Individuals with low Vitamin D had 1.9 times more probability of getting a severe infection (OR = 1.90 [1.24, 2.93], p = 0.003)
  • Low serum 25-OHD was associated with higher mortality in COVID 19 patients
    • Mortality was 3.08 times more likely to occur in the low Vitamin D level group as compared to others (OR = 3.08 [1.35, 7.00], p = 0.011)

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Other finding of the study was that people with increasing age were significantly more associated with low vitamin D and Increase COVID infection. The reason behind which might be that elderly may have deteriorating immunity with age which can cause increased susceptibility to infections and 75 % less cutaneous vitamin D than younger population. (Kennel KA, 2010)

The results of the meta-analysis indicate that low serum Vitamin D levels is associated with higher susceptibility to infection in exposed and higher rates of severity, mortality in ones who have already contracted COVID -19. But weather low Vitamin D is the cause of such outcomes is yet to be investigated (causal relationship of vitamin D with such effects not established). (Akbar, 2021)

Please always ensure to check with your Doctor / Healthcare / Family Physician before starting with any new medication or therapy.

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  1. Akbar, M. R. (2021). Low Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (Vitamin D) Level Is Associated With Susceptibility to COVID-19, Severity, and Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in nutrition, 8, 660420.
  2. Kennel KA, D. M. (2010). Vitamin D deficiency in adults: when to test and how to treat. Mayo Clinical Proceedings , 85:752–8.

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