Vitamin D Insufficiency and Deficiency and Mortality from Respiratory Diseases in a Cohort of Older Adults: Potential for Limiting the Death Toll during and beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Nutrients. 2020 Aug 18 ;12(8). Epub 2020 Aug 18. PMID: 32824839
The COVID-19 pandemic goes along with increased mortality from acute respiratory disease. It has been suggested that vitamin Dsupplementation might help to reduce respiratory disease mortality. We assessed the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency, defined by 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) blood levels of 30-50 and<30 nmol/L, respectively, and their association with mortality from respiratory diseases during 15 years of follow-up in a cohort of 9548 adults aged 50-75 years from Saarland, Germany. Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency were common (44% and 15%, respectively). Compared to those with sufficient vitamin D status, participants with vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency had strongly increased respiratory mortality, with adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) of 2.1 (1.3-3.2) and 3.0 (1.8-5.2) overall, 4.3 (1.3-14.4) and 8.5 (2.4-30.1) among women, and 1.9 (1.1-3.2) and 2.3 (1.1-4.4) among men. Overall, 41% (95% confidence interval: 20-58%) of respiratory disease mortality was statistically attributable to vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency are common and account for a large proportion of respiratory disease mortality in older adults, supporting the hypothesis that vitamin Dsupplementation could be helpful to limit the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among women.