Countries with low vitamin D levels also had the highest mortality and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection rates, according to a preliminary study.
According to the Daily Mail, "A preliminary study has found tentative evidence suggesting low levels of vitamin D may make it more likely an individual will die after contracting coronavirus."
The short report entitled "The role of Vitamin D in the prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 infection and mortality" compared the median vitamin D levels of 20 European countries to their infection and fatality rate.
Prone to the virus
Prepared by Petre Christian Ilie L, Simina Stefanescu, and Lee Smith, the study used vitamin D levels already present. This included "a comprehensive 2019 study led by Paul Lips, Professor Emeritus of i nternal medicine at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam", according to the Daily Mail.
They found out that vitamin D levels are severely low in the aging populations of Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. They are also the most vulnerable to the disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19."
A graph posted in The Conversation shows an infection-fatality rate of 2% for 60 to 69-year-olds, 4% for 70-79-year-olds, and 8% for 80-years-old and above.
To gather such results, they took the vitamin D measurements of thousands of people. They were able to narrow the data to 20 countries. This negated "any interfering factors, such as a country's latitude", said in the Daily Mail.
Each serum sample should contain an average amount of 56 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L). If it dips below 30 nmol/L, it is considered "severely deficient" by the researchers.
A trend across Europe
The study came out with Spain having the most deficient at 26 nmol/L, followed by Italy at 28 nmol/L, and 45 in other Nordic countries, according to the researchers.
They added, "In Switzerland, mean vitamin D levels are 23 (nmol/L) in nursing homes and in Italy 76 per cent of women over 70 years of age have been found to have circulating levels below 30nmol/L."
Researchers from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation Trust and the University of East Anglia said the elderly can be protected by boosting vitamin D supplementation.
They said in their study, 'We believe, that we can
SARS-COV2 means Severe Pulmonary Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. It is the virus that causes COVID-19, which has 3.5 million confirmed cases, 1.13 million recoveries, and caused over 248,000 deaths worldwide.
The Queen Elizabeth-Anglia study supported another study from The University of Granada. It is currently undergoing a 10-week trial after Trinity College Dublin saw a 50% fall in chest infections in adults who took Vitamin D supplements.