Interaction between age and vitamin D deficiency in severe COVID-19 infection
Nutr Hosp. 2020 Sep 22. doi: 10.20960/nh.03193
Fernando Macaya 1, Carolina Espejo Paeres 1, Adrián Valls 1, Antonio Fernández-Ortiz 1, Juan González Del Castillo 1, Javier Martín-Sánchez 1, Isabelle Runkle 1, Miguel Ángel Rubio Herrera 1
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Background: coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can induce an exaggerated inflammatory response. Vitamin D is a key modulator of the immune system. We hypothesized that vitamin D deficiency (VDD) could increase the risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection.
Methods: patients with confirmed COVID-19 seen at the emergency department of our hospital with recent measurements of 25(OH)D were recruited. We explored the association of vitamin D deficiency (VDD), defined as 25-hydroxyvitamin D < 20 ng/mL, with a composite of adverse clinical outcomes.
Results: we included 80 patients, of which 31 (39 %) presented the endpoint. VDD tended to predict an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 after adjusting for age, gender, obesity, cardiac disease, and kidney disease [OR 3.2 (95 % CI: 0.9-11.4), p = 0.07]. Age had a negative interaction with the effect of VDD on the composite outcome (p = 0.03), indicating that the effect was more noticeable at younger ages. Furthermore, male gender was associated with VDD and with severe COVID-19 at younger ages.
Conclusions: in this retrospective study, vitamin D deficiency showed a signal of association with severe COVID-19 infection. A significant interaction with age was noted, suggesting VDD may have a greater impact in younger patients. These findings should be confirmed in larger, prospective, adequately powered studies.