An Evaluation of Serum 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D Levels in Patients with COVID-19 in New York City

J Am Nutr Assoc. 2022 Feb;41(2):201-206. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2020.1869626. Epub 2021 Feb 19.


Aim: Deterioration of patients from COVID-19 is associated with cytokine release syndrome attributed to an elevation in pro-inflammatory cytokines. Vitamin D reduces proinflammatory cytokines, and has the possibility of reducing complications from respiratory tract illnesses.

Method: This was a retrospective, observational, cohort study of patients with COVID-19 disease within a New York City Health System. Adult patients were included if they tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and had a serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D level (25(OH)D) within the three previous months prior to their detected SARS-CoV-2 test. Patients were compared and evaluated based upon their 25(OH)D levels. The primary endpoints were hospitalization, need for oxygen support, and 90-day mortality.

Results: 437 COVID-19 patients were included [67 (IQR: 56-79) years] within this cohort. Deficient plasma 25(OH)D levels (<20 ng/ml) were associated with an increased likelihood of oxygen support [OR:2.23 (95% CI: 1.46-3.44, p = 0.0002)] from COVID-19. Deficient plasma 25(OH)D levels were not independently associated with 90-day mortality or risk of hospitalization. Hospitalization rates (98%), oxygen support (93%), and mortality rates (49%) were highest in patients who had 25(OH)D levels less than 10 ng/ml when compared to other 25(OH)D levels.

Conclusion: Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels may affect the need for oxygen support therapy in patients with COVID-19.

Keywords: 25-hydroxy vitamin D; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Vitamin D; inflammatory.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Calcifediol
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cytokines
  • Humans
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Oxygen
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D Deficiency* / epidemiology


  • Cytokines
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Calcifediol
  • Oxygen