This caught my eye yesterday...
Nearly 99 per cent of Covid-19 patients who are vitamin D deficient die, according to a terrifying study that adds to mounting evidence that the 'sunshine' nutrient could be a coronavirus life-saver.
98.9% of Covid patients defined as vitamin D deficient — below 20ng/ml — died
Yet this fell to just 4.1% for patients who had enough of the nutrient, data showed
The study has since been withdrawn following criticism about its methodology
Did not take into account patients were older and likely to have health woes
By STEPHEN MATTHEWS HEALTH EDITOR FOR MAILONLINE and BEN SPENCER MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 11:35 EDT, 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:11 EDT, 2 July 2020
Indonesian researchers analysed hospital records of 780 people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
Results revealed 98.9 per cent of infected patients defined as vitamin D deficient — below 20ng/ml — died. Yet this fell to just 4.1 per cent for patients who had enough of the nutrient.
Researchers warned the study was not definitive, however, because the patients with high vitamin D levels were healthier and younger.
It comes as health chiefs are urgently reviewing the use of vitamin D as a coronavirus lifesaver, with several studies suggesting that Covid-19 patients are far more likely to die if they have a deficiency.
One investigation – carried out by Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge – found European countries with lower vitamin D levels have had significantly more pandemic casualties.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is conducting a 'rapid evidence review' of the issue – and publication is expected as early as next week.
A graphic, pictured, shows how the Covid-19 death rate is affected by the level of Vitamin D
The Indonesian study was not associated with experts from any university, unlike most Covid-19 research.
All five researchers, led by Prabowo Raharusuna, were listed as 'independent'. No details of their scientific backgrounds were provided in the paper.
The research — published in April — has yet to be peer-reviewed by fellow scientists, a process that often uncovers flaws in studies.
The team found vitamin D-deficient patients were 10 times more likely to die when age, gender and co-morbidities were taken into account.
They wrote in the paper: 'When controlling for age, sex, and comorbidity, vitamin D status is strongly associated with Covid-19 mortality outcome of cases.'
And they called for randomised controlled trials — considered the gold-standard of scientific research — to prove whether vitamin D can be a life-saver.
One in five British adults and one in six children is lacking in vitamin D, thanks to poor diets, indoor lifestyles and lack of sunshine.
Experts estimate around 1billion people worldwide are deficient in the vitamin, with the figures having been described as a 'global public health issue'.
Some scientists fear that the lockdown and months of indoor living have cut levels even further.
Some ethnic groups tend to be at higher risk because their skin is less able to make the vitamin in response to sunlight.
Older people are also in danger because the body gets less efficient at producing the vitamin with age.
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