Serum calcium as a biomarker of clinical severity and prognosis in patients with coronavirus disease 2019

Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Jun 25;12(12):11287-11295. doi: 10.18632/aging.103526. Epub 2020 Jun 25.


The aim of this study was to investigate the correlations between serum calcium and clinical outcomes in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this retrospective study, serum calcium levels, hormone levels and clinical laboratory parameters on admission were recorded. The clinical outcome variables were also recorded. From February 10 to February 28, 2020, 241 patients were enrolled. Of these patients, 180 (74.7%) had hypocalcemia on admission. The median serum calcium levels were 2.12 (IQR, 2.04-2.20) mmol/L, median parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels were 55.27 (IQR, 42.73-73.15) pg/mL, and median 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (VD) levels were 10.20 (IQR, 8.20-12.65) ng/mL. The serum calcium levels were significantly positively correlated with VD levels (P =0.004) but negatively correlated with PTH levels (P =0.048). Patients with lower serum calcium levels (especially ≤2.0 mmol/L) had worse clinical parameters, higher incidences of organ injury and septic shock, and higher 28-day mortality. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, septic shock, and 28-day mortality were 0.923 (P <0.001), 0.905 (P =0.001), and 0.929 (P <0.001), respectively. In conclusion, serum calcium was associated with the clinical severity and prognosis of patients with COVID-19. Hypocalcemia may be associated with imbalanced VD and PTH levels.

Keywords: COVID-19; hypocalcemia; organ injury; parathyroid hormone; prognosis; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • COVID-19
  • Calcium / blood*
  • Coronavirus Infections / blood*
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications
  • Coronavirus Infections / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / blood*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications
  • Pneumonia, Viral / pathology*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Biomarkers
  • Calcium