COVID-19 severity in relation to sociodemographics and vitamin D use

Open Med (Wars). 2021 Apr 8;16(1):591-609. doi: 10.1515/med-2021-0273. eCollection 2021.


Most COVID-19 cases are treated as outpatients, while the majority of studies on COVID-19 focus on inpatients. Little is known about the self-reporting and self-rating of the disease's symptoms, and the associations of prophylactic use of dietary supplements with COVID-19 severity have not been addressed. The aims of this study are to evaluate COVID-19 severity and to relate them to sociodemographic characteristics and prophylactic dietary supplements. An observational patient-based study conducted through an online questionnaire on recovered COVID-19 patients. The patients were assessed for several severity parameters, sociodemographic parameters, and prophylactic dietary supplement use. A total of 428 patients were evaluated. Age and presence of comorbidities had positive associations with the severity parameters. The severe infection group had the highest proportion of patients stressed about COVID-19 (P < 0.05). Cigarette, but not hookah, smoking was significantly associated with less severe symptoms. Vitamin D negatively predicted disease severity (P < 0.05). In conclusion, stress, age, and presence of comorbidities were the most important positive predictors of COVID-19 severity, while prophylactic vitamin D use and smoking were significant negative predictors. The use of protective measures and other prophylactic dietary supplements was not significantly associated with symptom severity.

Keywords: COVID-19; online survey; smoking; symptoms severity; vitamin D.