A new study from the University of Chicago indicates that a lack of vitamin D could lead to more severe cases of the novel coronavirus.
What’s going on?
The new research found that having an untreated vitamin D deficiency increases a patient’s likelihood of testing positive for the novel coronavirus by 77%, per Yahoo News.
The research — published Thursday by JAMA Network Open — reviewed 489 patients at the University of Chicago who had their vitamin D levels measured within the last year.
- About 22% of patients with deficiency got COVID-19.
- Of the 60% of patients who had adequate levels of vitamin D, 12% tested positive for COVID-19.
- Older age only increased chances by 6%.
“In this single-center, retrospective cohort study, likely deficient vitamin D status was associated with increased COVID-19 risk, a finding that suggests that randomized trials may be needed to determine whether vitamin D affects COVID-19 risk,” the study concludes.
Researchers said vitamin D is an important factor since it prevents inflammation and enhances immunity, according to UPI.
“Vitamin D is important to the function of the immune system and vitamin D supplements have previously been shown to lower the risk of viral respiratory tract infections,” Dr. David Meltzer, Chief of Hospital Medicine at UChicago Medicine and lead author of the study, told The Weather Channel. “Our statistical analysis suggests this may be true for the COVID-19 infection.”