Low vitamin D levels, high BMI and blood sugar tied to severity of COVID-19: Study
Italy: A recent study for the first time showed a strict association of Vitamin D levels with blood sugar and BMI in COVID-19 patients. The study, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, is a substudy of a prospective observational study performed at a hospital in Italy.
According to the study, vitamin D deficiency might be a novel mechanism involved in the detrimental effect of adiposity and hyperglycemia on disease severity.
Previous studies have shown a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in COVID-19 patients and hypothesized to increase COVID-19 severity likely due to its negative impact on inflammatory and immune responses. Also, clear associations between hypovitaminosis-D and fat body-mass excess and diabetes, factors associated with COVID-19 severity, have been widely recognized.
Against the above background, Andrea Giustina, IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy, and colleagues aimed to evaluate the relationship between VD levels and inflammatory response, BMI, blood glucose, and disease severity in COVID-19 patients.
The study enrolled patients admitted to San Raffaele-Hospital for COVID-19. Those with comorbidities and therapies influencing VD-metabolism were excluded. 25(OH)VD levels, plasma glucose levels, BMI, and inflammatory parameters were evaluated at admission.
A total of 88 patients were included.
Based on the study, the researchers found the following:
- Median VD level was 16.3 ng/mL and VD-deficiency was found in 68.2% of patients.
- VD-deficiency was found more frequently in male patients and in those affected by severe COVID-19.
- Regression analyses showed a positive correlation between VD and PaO2/FiO2 ratio, and negative correlations between VD and plasma glucose, BMI, Neutrophil/Lymphocyte ratio, CRP and IL-6.
- Patients with both hypovitaminosis-D and diabetes mellitus, as well those with hypovitaminosis-D and overweight, were more frequently affected by a severe disease with worse inflammatory response and respiratory parameters, compared to those without or just one of these conditions.
"Our findings, for the first time, showed a strict association of Vitamin D levels with blood glucose and BMI in COVID-19 patients," wrote the authors. " Vitamin D-deficiency might be a novel common pathophysiological mechanism involved in the detrimental effect of hyperglycemia and adiposity on disease severity."
The study titled, "Vitamin D levels associate with blood glucose and BMI in COVID-19 patients predicting disease severity," is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.