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Vitamin D and survival in COVID-19 patients: A quasi-experimental study.
Take Home Message
In this small, quasi experimental study, elderly, frail nursing home residents in France diagnosed with COVID-19 who were given a high, single dose of vitamin D during or just before COVID-19 infection experienced an improved survival rate compared to those who did not receive vitamin D during or just before COVID-19 infection.
- At the end of the study follow-up, 82.5% of the group those who recently had received vitamin D3 supplements survived, whereas 44.4% of the group who had not recently received vitamin D3 supplements survived.
- Residents who had not recently received vitamin D3 supplements had shorter survival times than those having received vitamin D3 supplementation during or just before the COVID-19 diagnosis.
Sixty-six frail, elderly nursing home residents in France diagnosed with COVID-19.
Things to Keep in Mind
- The participant group was restricted to a limited number of nursing-home residents who might be unrepresentative of all older adults.
- Because this study was not planned and instead used existing medical records, the serum 25(OH)D concentrations were not systematically measured before and after vitamin D supplementation.
- The quasi-experimental design of the study is less robust than a randomized controlled trial. Participants in the comparator group did not receive vitamin D placebo, and there was no randomization.
- There was no control for other conditions that may have influenced
This nursing-home-based study of a frail, elderly population found large single doses of vitamin D3 supplementation during or just before COVID-19 infection was associated with less severe COVID-19 symptoms and a better survival rate (82.5%) compared to the survival rate of those who did not receive vitamin D (44.4%).
- The 66 participants were classified into two groups.
- One group consisting of 57 people (78.9% were women with an average age of 87.7 years) received a single large dose of 80,000 IU vitamin D3 orally either in the week following the suspicion or diagnosis of COVID-19, or during the previous month.
- They were compared to all other COVID-19 positive residents (9 people, 66.7% were women with an average age of 87.4 years) who did not receive any recent vitamin D supplementation.
- There were no differences between the two groups at baseline for age, gender or level of fragility.
- There were no differences between the groups in the number of patients treated with corticosteroids, hydroxychloroquine, antibiotics or hospitalized for COVID-19.
Annweiler C, Hanotte B, Grandin de l’Eprevier C, Sabatier JM, Lafaie L, Célarier T. Vitamin D and survival in COVID-19 patients: A quasi-experimental study. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2020 Nov;204:105771. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2020.105771. Epub 2020 Oct 13. PMID: 33065275; PMCID: PMC7553119.