The risk of acute respiratory tract infections is particularly pronounced in patients deficient in 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D). With respect to COVID-19, there are conflicting evidence on the association of 25(OH)D levels with disease severity. We undertook this study to evaluate the 25(OH)D status in COVID-19 patients admitted in Karachi, Pakistan, and associated vitamin D deficiency with primary outcomes of mortality, length of stay, intubation, and frequency of COVID-19 symptoms. A total of 91 patients were evaluated for 25(OH)D status during their COVID-19 disease course. 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were classified as deficient (< 10 ng/mL), insufficient (10–30 ng/mL), or sufficient (> 30 ng/mL). The study population comprised 68.1% males (N = 62). The mean age was 52.6 ± 15.7 years. Vitamin D deficiency was significantly associated with intensive care unit (ICU) admission (RR: 3.20; P = 0.048), invasive ventilation (RR: 2.78; P = 0.043), persistent pulmonary infiltrates (RR: 7.58; P < 0.001), and death (RR: 2.98; P < 0.001) on univariate Cox regression. On multivariate Cox regression, only death (RR: 2.13; P = 0.046) and persistent pulmonary infiltrates (RR: 6.78; P = 0.009) remained significant after adjustment for confounding factors. On Kaplan Meier curves, vitamin D deficient patients had persistent pulmonary infiltrates and a greater probability of requiring mechanical ventilation than patients with 25(OH)D ≥ 10 ng/mL. Mechanical ventilation had to be initiated early in the deficient group during the 30-day hospital stay (Chi-square: 4.565, P = 0.033). Patients with 25(OH)D ≥ 10 ng/mL also demonstrated a higher probability of survival than those with 25(OH)D concentrations < 10 ng/mL. 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficient population had longer hospital stays and worse outcomes.
Address correspondence to Muhammad Sohaib Asghar, Department of Internal Medicine, Dow University of Health Sciences–Ojha Campus, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, 75300, Pakistan. E-mail: email@example.com
Authors’ addresses: Muhammad Sohaib Asghar, Department of Internal Medicine, Dow University Hospital–Ojha Campus, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Farah Yasmin, Muhammad Daim Bin Zafar, Osama Mohiuddin, and Anosh Aslam Khan, Department of Internal Medicine, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. Kartik Dapke, Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, Nagpur, India, E-mail: email@example.com. Syed Muhammad Ismail Shah, Department of Internal Medicine, Ziauddin Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Salim Surani, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Corpus Christi Medical Center, Corpus Christi, TX, and Department of Internal Medicine, University of North Texas, Dallas, TX, E-mail: email@example.com.