Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide pandemic. The aim of this study was to evaluate associations of plasma 25(OH)D levels with the likelihood of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection and hospitalization. The study population included the 14 000 members of Leumit Health Services, who were tested for COVID-19 infection from February 1st to April 30th , 2020, and who had at least one previous blood test for the plasma 25(OH)D level. 'Suboptimal' or 'low' plasma 25(OH)D level was defined as plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D, concentration below the level of 30 ng/mL. Of 7807 individuals, 782 (10.02%) were COVID-19-positive, and 7025 (89.98%) COVID-19-negative. The mean plasma vitamin D level was significantly lower among those who tested positive than negative for COVID-19 [19.00 ng/mL (95% confidence interval (CI) 18.41-19.59) vs. 20.55 (95% CI: 20.32-20.78)]. Univariate analysis demonstrated an association between the low plasma 25(OH)D level and increased likelihood of COVID-19 infection [crude odds ratio (OR) of 1.58 (95% CI: 1.24-2.01, P < 0.001)], and of hospitalization due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus [crude OR of 2.09 (95% CI: 1.01-4.30, P < 0.05)]. In multivariate analyses that controlled for demographic variables, and psychiatric and somatic disorders, the adjusted OR of COVID-19 infection [1.45 (95% CI: 1.08-1.95, P < 0.001)] and of hospitalization due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus [1.95 (95% CI: 0.98-4.845, P = 0.061)] were preserved. In the multivariate analyses, age over 50 years, male gender and low-medium socioeconomic status were also positively associated with the risk of COVID-19 infection; age over 50 years was positively associated with the likelihood of hospitalization due to COVID-19. We concluded that low plasma 25(OH)D levels appear to be an independent risk factor for COVID-19 infection and hospitalization.
Keywords: COVID-19; Israeli population study; low plasma 25(OH) vitamin D level; risk of infection; vitamin D.
© 2020 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.