High-Dose Cholecalciferol Booster Therapy is Associated with a Reduced Risk of Mortality in Patients with COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Multi-Centre Observational Study
Nutrients 2020, 12, 3799; doi:10.3390/nu12123799
16 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 16, 2021
The worldwide pandemic of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has posed the most substantial and severe public health issue for several generations, and therapeutic options have not yet been optimised. Vitamin D (in its “parent” form, cholecalciferol) has been proposed in the pharmacological management of COVID-19 by various sources. We aimed to determine whether COVID-19 mortality was affected by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels, vitamin D status, or cholecalciferol therapy, and to elucidate any other predictors of COVID-19 mortality. Patients hospitalised with COVID-19 were opportunistically recruited from three UK hospitals, and their data were collected retrospectively. Logistic regression was used to determine any relationships between COVID-19 mortality and potential predictors, including 25(OH)D levels and cholecalciferol booster therapy. A total of 986 participants with COVID-19 were studied, of whom 151 (16.0%) received cholecalciferol booster therapy. In the primary cohort of 444 patients, cholecalciferol booster therapy was associated with a reduced risk of COVID-19 mortality, following adjustment for potential confounders (ORadj 0.13, 95% CI 0.05–0.35, p < 0.001). This finding was replicated in a validation cohort of 541 patients (ORadj 0.38, 95% CI 0.17–0.84, p = 0.018). In this observational study, treatment with cholecalciferol booster therapy, regardless of baseline serum 25(OH)D levels, appears to be associated with a reduced risk of mortality in acute in-patients admitted with COVID-19. Further work with large population studies needs to be carried out to determine adequate serum 25(OH)D levels, as well as multidose clinical trials of cholecalciferol therapy to assess maximum efficacy.
Note: Trial Registration: The study was also registered on Clinicaltrials.gov (reference number NCT04386044), prior to commencement.
Funding: This research received no external funding.
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval was granted by the Health and Care Research Wales Research Ethics Committee (IRAS number 285337).
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; vitamin D; mortality; cholecalciferol; 25-hydroxyvitamin D
JEL Classification: I10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation