Vitamin D supplementation to prevent COVID-19 in patients with COPD: a research perspective

Adv Respir Med. 2020;88(4):364-365. doi: 10.5603/ARM.a2020.0101.


There is increased evidence that the massive release of pro-inflammatory cytokines leading to the cytokine storm syndrome shapes the evolution of COVID-19 and is responsible of the severity of COVID-19 in some patients. A recent review argued that vitamin D deficiency could have increased the COVID-19 outbreak and suggested vitamin D supplementation as a preventive action. In fact, many factors seem to be correlated both to low vitamin D levels and the importance of COVID-19 spreading and severity. It is also important to highlight that the lockdown, implemented in many countries, prevents people to go out and then increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency. COPD patients are particularly at risk to have low levels of vitamin D due to multiple risk factors. COPD may generate a systemic inflammatory process responsible of secondary extra-pulmonary impairments. Vitamin D deficiency could sustain and aggravate the systemic inflammation associated to COPD. Reports have also shown that vitamin D deficiency was associated to exacerbations and hospital admissions, as well as lung function. Recent research showed that vitamin D supplementation significantly reduced COPD exacerbations. Although vitamin D deficiency was not proved to be neither a risk factor of COVID-19, nor a determinant of its severity, vitamin D supplementation represents a preventive perspective that needs to be further studied.

Keywords: COPD; COVID-19; coronavirus; prevention; vitamin D.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19
  • Cholecalciferol / therapeutic use*
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Supplements / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / prevention & control


  • Cholecalciferol