Association between vitamin D deficiency and mortality in critically ill adult patients: a meta-analysis of cohort studies

Crit Care. 2014 Dec 12;18(6):684. doi: 10.1186/s13054-014-0684-9.


Introduction: Vitamin D deficiency is common in critically ill patients, and was reported to be associated with adverse outcomes. However, the effect of vitamin D deficiency on mortality in critically ill patients remains unclear.

Methods: We searched PubMed and EMBASE from the inception to July 2014 for cohort studies to assess the effect of vitamin D deficiency on the incidence of mortality in critically ill patients. Mortality-specific odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were pooled with a random- or fixed-effect models when appropriate.

Results: Seven cohort studies with a total of 4,204 participants including 1,679 cases of vitamin D deficiency were included in this meta-analysis. Vitamin D deficiency was significantly associated with an increased hospital mortality (OR 1.76; 95% CI, 1.38 to 2.24; P < 0.001), with very low heterogeneity (I (2) = 2.3%; P = 0.402). The finding of increased hospital mortality in critically ill adult patients was consistently found in every stratum of our subgroup analyses.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased incidence of hospital mortality in critically ill adult patients.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Critical Illness / mortality*
  • Hospital Mortality / trends*
  • Humans
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / mortality*


  • Vitamin D