U.S. Study Findings Shows That Vitamin D Supplementation Can Lower Risk Of COVID-19 Severity And Even Reduce Spread Of SARS-CoV-2
Source: COVID-19 Supplements - Vitamin D Reduces Severity Nov 16, 2022 4 months ago
: A new study by American researchers from Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, University of Chicago and St John Fisher College has shown that vitamin D supplementation can lower risk of COVID-19 severity and even reduce spread of SARS-CoV-2.
It has already been known that vitamin D deficiency is associated with reduced immune function that can lead to viral infection.
Numerous past researches have shown that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increases the risk of infection with COVID-19.
To date however, it is unknown if treatment with Vitamin D can reduce the associated risk of COVID-19 infection, which is the focus of this study.
In the population of US veterans, the study team shows that Vitamin D2 and D3 fills were associated with reductions in COVID-19 infection of 28% and 20%, respectively [(D3 Hazard Ratio (HR) = 0.80, [95% CI 0.77, 0.83]), D2 HR = 0.72, [95% CI 0.65, 0.79]].
The study findings showed that mortality within 30-days of COVID-19 infection was similarly 33% lower with Vitamin D3 and 25% lower with D2 (D3 HR = 0.67, [95% CI 0.59, 0.75]; D2 HR = 0.75, [95% CI 0.55, 1.04]).
The COVID-19 Supplements
study team also found that after controlling for vitamin D blood levels, veterans receiving higher dosages of Vitamin D obtained greater benefits from supplementation than veterans receiving lower dosages. Veterans with Vitamin D blood levels between 0 and 19 ng/ml exhibited the largest decrease in COVID-19 infection following supplementation. Black veterans received greater associated COVID-19 risk reductions with supplementation than White veterans.
The study team said that as a safe, widely available, and affordable treatment, Vitamin D may help to reduce the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: Scientific Reports
The study team are among the first to assess in detail the relationship between supplementation with vitamin D and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and related mortality.
The study team performed a large-scale pharmacoepidemiologic investigation to determine the relationship between vitamin D2 and D3 supplementation and the risk of COVID-19 infection-related mortality within 30 days.
The researchers conducted a retrospective cohort analysis to assess the relationship between vitamin D2 and D3 supplementation and SARS-CoV-2 infection and death. The association was determined using a cohort of veterans affairs (VA) patients who were treated with the supplementation with doxercalciferol (vitamin D2), ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), calcifediol (vitamin D3), and oral cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) between the pre-pandemic period from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020, and during the pandemic from 1 March 2020 to 31 December 2020.
The study team matched treated with control patients based on their likelihood of consuming vitamin D2 and D3 supplements separately. In addition, a subgroup analyses for D3 was performed to identify treatment heterogeneity according to race, vitamin D level, and mean daily and cumulative supplementing dosage.
For the study, supplementation with vitamin D2 or D3 was the primary exposure prior to and after the pandemic started on 1 March 2020. The reference group consisted of patients who did not receive vitamin D2 or D3 supplementation.
Vitamin D2 and D3 products and dosages were incorporated in the Corporate Data Warehouse (CDW) electronic health records, such as multivitamins and combination medications containing vitamin D3.
In order to examine variance in the relationship between supplementation therapy and COVID-19 infection, a categorical variable representing distinct 25-dihydroxycholecalciferol thresholds was constructed.
For the study, the primary outcome involved laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection as measured by any Medicare claim or VA medical record having the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision (ICD-10) code U07.1. COVID-19-associated mortality was also analyzed as a secondary endpoint.
The study team defined COVID-19-associated mortality as any death occurring within 30 days of infection.
It was found that when potential confounding variables were matched, the groups receiving vitamin D3 supplementation and control participants were comparable.
Interestingly, a more significant proportion of Black patients were supplemented with vitamin D2 compared to vitamin D3.
It was found that vitamin D3 recipients experienced more comorbid illnesses than D2 recipients.
The vitamin D3 cohort displayed COVID-19 infection rates of 2.66% and 3.30% for the treated and the controls, respectively. Furthermore, the infection rates followed by mortality within 30 days were 0.23% and 0.35% for the treated and the control participants, respectively. The rates of COVID-19 infection that led to mortality in the vitamin D2 group were 0.20% and 0.26% for the treated and the controls within 30 days, respectively.
When compared to untreated controls, vitamin D2 and D3 supplementation during the pandemic reduced the probability of COVID-19 infection by 20% and 28%.
Also, supplementation of vitamin D3 was related to a 33% decreased incidence of COVID-19 infection resulting in 30-day death.
However, vitamin D2 results were not statistically significant. Compared to controls, a higher reduction in COVID-19 infection rates was observed among Black patients than White individuals. It was determined that vitamin D serum concentrations inversely correlated with the decline in COVID-19 infection risk.
It was found that the overall treatment elicited by vitamin D serum level interaction was considerable, with a 12% rise in the hazard ratio for each category of serum level. A 25% reduction in COVID-19 risk throughout the spectrum of cumulative dosages and a 27% reduction across average daily dosages were also noted. The cumulative dose-response relationship was inversely related to vitamin D blood concentration.
The study findings showed that vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation significantly reduced the risk of COVID-19 infection and death within 30 days.
The study team believes vitamin D3 supplementation could be a valuable strategy for limiting the spread of COVID-19 infection and related death and racial differences in COVID-19 outcomes.
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