Vitamin D deficiency among patients with COVID-19: case series and recent literature review

Trop Med Health. 2020 Dec 20;48(1):102. doi: 10.1186/s41182-020-00277-w.


Background: The world is now challenging the pandemic of COVID-19 infection. This is the third and most extensive pandemic. Previous studies showed the plausibility of vitamin D prophylaxis and therapy for COVID-19, particularly in settings where hypovitaminosis D is frequent. Recent study from Indonesian showed that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was 23.0%. The examination of vitamin D status is not a routine in the Indonesian clinical setting.

Methods: This study is a case series from confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bethesda Hospital Yogyakarta Indonesia. The data of clinical symptoms, signs and laboratory examinations were obtained from the electronic medical records. The vitamin D status was measured by Enzyme-Linked Fluorescent Assay (ELFA) method. We searched PubMed and Google Scholar for studies that included terms for Vitamin D and COVID-19.

Results: The data were obtained from 10 participants consisting of 50% male and 50% female. The mean age was 49.6 years. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in this study was 90% (vitamin D levels < 20 ng/mL) and 10% of insufficiency (vitamin D levels < 30 ng/mL). Patients in this study had various symptoms such as fatigue (60%), fever (50%), dry cough (40%), non-specific headache (10%), and diarrhea (10%); have no symptoms (20%); and also had the various chronic diseases as comorbidity such as hypertension (40%), diabetes (10%), COPD (10%), and post stroke (10%).

Conclusions: All of the COVID-19 patients in this study had hypovitaminosis D. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in this case series is 90% and only 1 patient (10%) had vitamin D insufficiency. There are many health benefits of vitamin D and very few adverse effects. Randomized controlled trials need to determine and evaluate this recommendation in preventing or treating COVID-19. Clinicians should continue to treat people with vitamin D deficiency especially in managing COVID-19 patients.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Low vitamin D; Vitamin D; Vitamin D deficiency.