The relationship between the severity and mortality of SARS-COV-2 infection and 25-hydroxy vitamin D concentration - a metaanalysis

Teodoro J. Oscanoa, Jose Amado, Xavier Vidal, Eamon Laird, Rawia A. Ghashut, Roman Romero-Ortuno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Introduction: There is increasing scientific interest in the possible association between hypovitaminosis D and the risk of SARSCoV-2 infection severity and/or mortality. Objective: To conduct a metanalysis of the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration and SARS-CoV-2 infection severity or mortality. Material and methods: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Google scholar and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for studies published between December 2019 and December 2020. Effect statistics were pooled using random effects models. The quality of included studies was assessed with the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale (NOS). Targeted outcomes: Mortality and severity proportions in COVID-19 patients with 25(OH)D deficiency, defined as serum 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L. Results: In the 23 studies included (n = 2692), the mean age was 60.8 (SD ± 15.9) years and 53.8% were men. Results suggested that vitamin 25(OH)D deficiency was associated with increased risk of severe SARS-CoV-2 disease (RR 2.00; 95% CI 1.47–2.71, 17 studies) and mortality (RR 2.45; 95% CI 1.24–4.84, 13 studies). Only 7/23 studies reported C-reactive protein values, all of which were > 10 mg/L. Conclusions 25(OH)D deficiency seems associated with increased SARS-CoV-2 infection severity and mortality. However, findings do not imply causality, and randomized controlled trials are required, and new studies should be designed to determine if decreased 25(OH)D is an epiphenomenon or consequence of the inflammatory process associated with severe forms of SARSCoV-2. Meanwhile, the concentration of 25(OH)D could be considered as a negative acute phase reactant and a poor prognosis in COVID-19 infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-187
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Respiratory Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 30 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 PTChP.


  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • COVID-19
  • Metaanalysis
  • Mortality
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severity
  • Vitamin D


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