Association of Vitamin D Status with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or COVID-19 Severity: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Asma Kazemi, Vida Mohammadi, Sahar Keshtkar Aghababaee, Mahdieh Golzarand, Cain Clark, shiraz Babajafari

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    94 Citations (Scopus)
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    This systematic review was conducted to summarize and clarify the evidence on the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin-D [25(OH)D] concentrations and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) risk and outcomes. PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases and Google Scholar were searched up to 26 November 2020. All retrospective and prospective cohort, cross-sectional, case-control, and randomized controlled trial studies that investigated the relation between 25(OH)D and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and COVID-19 severity were included. Thirty-nine studies were included in the current systematic review. In studies that were adjusted (OR: 1.77; 95% CI: 1.24, 2.53; I2: 44.2%) and nonadjusted for confounders (OR: 1.75; 95% CI: 1.44, 2.13; I2: 33.0%) there was a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the vitamin D deficiency (VDD) group. Fifteen studies evaluated associations between VDD and composite severity. In the studies that were adjusted (OR: 2.57; 95% CI: 1.65, 4.01; I2 = 0.0%) and nonadjusted for confounders (OR: 10.61; 95% CI: 2.07, 54.23; I2 = 90.8%) there was a higher severity in the VDD group. Analysis of studies with crude OR (OR: 2.62; 95% CI: 1.13, 6.05; I2: 47.9%), and adjusted studies that used the Cox survival method (HR: 7.67; 95% CI: 3.92, 15.03; I2: 0.0%) indicated a significant association of VDD with mortality, while in adjusted studies that used logistic regression, no relation was observed (OR: 1.05; 95% CI: 0.63, 1.75; I2: 76.6%). The results of studies that examined relations between VDD and intensive care unit (ICU) admission, pulmonary complications, hospitalization, and inflammation were inconsistent. In conclusion, although studies were heterogeneous in methodological and statistical approach, most of them indicated a significant relation between 25(OH)D and SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19 composite severity, and mortality. With regard to infection, caution should be taken in interpreting the results, due to inherent study limitations. For ICU admission, inflammation, hospitalization, and pulmonary involvement, the evidence is currently inconsistent and insufficient.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1636-1658
    Number of pages23
    JournalAdvances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.)
    Issue number5
    Early online date5 Mar 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society for Nutrition.


    • COVID-19
    • SARS-CoV-2
    • infection
    • severity
    • vitamin D

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Food Science
    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Nutrition and Dietetics


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