Real world evidence of calcifediol or vitamin D prescription and mortality rate of COVID-19 in a retrospective cohort of hospitalized Andalusian patients.
Scientific reports. 2021;(1):23380
COVID-19 is a major worldwide health problem because of acute respiratory distress syndrome, and mortality. Several lines of evidence have suggested a relationship between the vitamin D endocrine system and severity of COVID-19. We present a survival study on a retrospective cohort of 15,968 patients, comprising all COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Andalusia between January and November 2020. Based on a central registry of electronic health records (the Andalusian Population Health Database, BPS), prescription of vitamin D or its metabolites within 15-30 days before hospitalization were recorded. The effect of prescription of vitamin D (metabolites) for other indication previous to the hospitalization was studied with respect to patient survival. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and hazard ratios support an association between prescription of these metabolites and patient survival. Such association was stronger for calcifediol (Hazard Ratio, HR = 0.67, with 95% confidence interval, CI, of [0.50-0.91]) than for cholecalciferol (HR = 0.75, with 95% CI of [0.61-0.91]), when prescribed 15 days prior hospitalization. Although the relation is maintained, there is a general decrease of this effect when a longer period of 30 days prior hospitalization is considered (calcifediol HR = 0.73, with 95% CI [0.57-0.95] and cholecalciferol HR = 0.88, with 95% CI [0.75, 1.03]), suggesting that association was stronger when the prescription was closer to the hospitalization.
COVID-19 Mortality Risk Correlates Inversely with Vitamin D3 Status, and a Mortality Rate Close to Zero Could Theoretically Be Achieved at 50 ng/mL 25(OH)D3: Results of a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
BACKGROUND Much research shows that blood calcidiol (25(OH)D3) levels correlate strongly with SARS-CoV-2 infection severity. There is open discussion regarding whether low D3 is caused by the infection or if deficiency negatively affects immune defense. The aim of this study was to collect further evidence on this topic. METHODS Systematic literature search was performed to identify retrospective cohort as well as clinical studies on COVID-19 mortality rates versus D3 blood levels. Mortality rates from clinical studies were corrected for age, sex, and diabetes. Data were analyzed using correlation and linear regression. RESULTS One population study and seven clinical studies were identified, which reported D3 blood levels preinfection or on the day of hospital admission. The two independent datasets showed a negative Pearson correlation of D3 levels and mortality risk (r(17) = -0.4154, p = 0.0770/r(13) = -0.4886, p = 0.0646). For the combined data, median (IQR) D3 levels were 23.2 ng/mL (17.4-26.8), and a significant Pearson correlation was observed (r(32) = -0.3989, p = 0.0194). Regression suggested a theoretical point of zero mortality at approximately 50 ng/mL D3. CONCLUSIONS The datasets provide strong evidence that low D3 is a predictor rather than just a side effect of the infection. Despite ongoing vaccinations, we recommend raising serum 25(OH)D levels to above 50 ng/mL to prevent or mitigate new outbreaks due to escape mutations or decreasing antibody activity.
Calcifediol Treatment and COVID-19-Related Outcomes.
The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. 2021;(10):e4017-e4027
CONTEXT COVID-19 is a major health problem because of saturation of intensive care units (ICU) and mortality. Vitamin D has emerged as a potential treatment able to reduce the disease severity. OBJECTIVE This work aims to elucidate the effect of 25(OH)D3 (calcifediol) treatment on COVID-19-related outcomes. METHODS This observational cohort study was conducted from March to May 2020, among patients admitted to COVID-19 wards of Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain. A total of 930 patients with COVID-19 were included; 92 were excluded because of previous calcifediol intake. Of the remaining 838, a total of 447 received calcifediol (532 μg on day 1 plus 266 μg on days 3, 7, 15, and 30), whereas 391 were not treated at the time of hospital admission (intention-to-treat). Of the latter, 53 patients were treated later during ICU admission and were allocated in the treated group in a second analysis. In healthy individuals, calcifediol is about 3.2-fold more potent on a weight basis than cholecalciferol. Main outcome measures were ICU admission and mortality. RESULTS ICU assistance was required by 102 (12.2%) participants. Out of 447 patients treated with calcifediol at admission, 20 (4.5%) required the ICU, compared to 82 (21%) out of 391 nontreated (P < .001). Logistic regression of calcifediol treatment on ICU admission, adjusted by age, sex, linearized 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels at baseline, and comorbidities showed that treated patients had a reduced risk of requiring the ICU (odds ratio [OR] 0.13; 95% CI 0.07-0.23). Overall mortality was 10%. In the intention-to-treat analysis, 21 (4.7%) out of 447 patients treated with calcifediol at admission died compared to 62 patients (15.9%) out of 391 nontreated (P = .001). Adjusted results showed a reduced mortality risk with an OR of 0.21 (95% CI, 0.10-0.43). In the second analysis, the obtained OR was 0.52 (95% CI, 0.27-0.99). CONCLUSION In patients hospitalized with COVID-19, calcifediol treatment significantly reduced ICU admission and mortality.
Vitamin D supplementation for the treatment of COVID-19: a living systematic review.
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2021;:CD015043
BACKGROUND The role of vitamin D supplementation as a treatment for COVID-19 has been a subject of considerable discussion. A thorough understanding of the current evidence regarding the effectiveness and safety of vitamin D supplementation for COVID-19 based on randomised controlled trials is required. OBJECTIVES To assess whether vitamin D supplementation is effective and safe for the treatment of COVID-19 in comparison to an active comparator, placebo, or standard of care alone, and to maintain the currency of the evidence, using a living systematic review approach. SEARCH METHODS We searched the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, Web of Science and the WHO COVID-19 Global literature on coronavirus disease to identify completed and ongoing studies without language restrictions to 11 March 2021. SELECTION CRITERIA We followed standard Cochrane methodology. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating vitamin D supplementation for people with COVID-19, irrespective of disease severity, age, gender or ethnicity. We excluded studies investigating preventive effects, or studies including populations with other coronavirus diseases (severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)). DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS We followed standard Cochrane methodology. To assess bias in included studies, we used the Cochrane risk of bias tool (ROB 2) for RCTs. We rated the certainty of evidence using the GRADE approach for the following prioritised outcome categories: individuals with moderate or severe COVID-19: all-cause mortality, clinical status, quality of life, adverse events, serious adverse events, and for individuals with asymptomatic or mild disease: all-cause mortality, development of severe clinical COVID-19 symptoms, quality of life, adverse events, serious adverse events. MAIN RESULTS We identified three RCTs with 356 participants, of whom 183 received vitamin D. In accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) clinical progression scale, two studies investigated participants with moderate or severe disease, and one study individuals with mild or asymptomatic disease. The control groups consisted of placebo treatment or standard of care alone. Effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation for people with COVID-19 and moderate to severe disease We included two studies with 313 participants. Due to substantial clinical and methodological diversity of both studies, we were not able to pool data. Vitamin D status was unknown in one study, whereas the other study reported data for vitamin D deficient participants. One study administered multiple doses of oral calcifediol at days 1, 3 and 7, whereas the other study gave a single high dose of oral cholecalciferol at baseline. We assessed one study with low risk of bias for effectiveness outcomes, and the other with some concerns about randomisation and selective reporting. All-cause mortality at hospital discharge (313 participants) We found two studies reporting data for this outcome. One study reported no deaths when treated with vitamin D out of 50 participants, compared to two deaths out of 26 participants in the control group (Risk ratio (RR) 0.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01 to 2.13). The other study reported nine deaths out of 119 individuals in the vitamin D group, whereas six participants out of 118 died in the placebo group (RR 1.49, 95% CI 0.55 to 4.04]. We are very uncertain whether vitamin D has an effect on all-cause mortality at hospital discharge (very low-certainty evidence). Clinical status assessed by the need for invasive mechanical ventilation (237 participants) We found one study reporting data for this outcome. Nine out of 119 participants needed invasive mechanical ventilation when treated with vitamin D, compared to 17 out of 118 participants in the placebo group (RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.24 to 1.13). Vitamin D supplementation may decrease need for invasive mechanical ventilation, but the evidence is uncertain (low-certainty evidence). Quality of life We did not find data for quality of life. Safety of vitamin D supplementation for people with COVID-19 and moderate to severe disease We did not include data from one study, because assessment of serious adverse events was not described and we are concerned that data might have been inconsistently measured. This study reported vomiting in one out of 119 participants immediately after vitamin D intake (RR 2.98, 95% CI 0.12 to 72.30). We are very uncertain whether vitamin D supplementation is associated with higher risk for adverse events (very low-certainty). Effectiveness and safety of vitamin D supplementation for people with COVID-19 and asymptomatic or mild disease We found one study including 40 individuals, which did not report our prioritised outcomes, but instead data for viral clearance, inflammatory markers, and vitamin D serum levels. The authors reported no events of hypercalcaemia, but recording and assessment of further adverse events remains unclear. Authors administered oral cholecalciferol in daily doses for at least 14 days, and continued with weekly doses if vitamin D blood levels were > 50 ng/mL. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS There is currently insufficient evidence to determine the benefits and harms of vitamin D supplementation as a treatment of COVID-19. The evidence for the effectiveness of vitamin D supplementation for the treatment of COVID-19 is very uncertain. Moreover, we found only limited safety information, and were concerned about consistency in measurement and recording of these outcomes. There was substantial clinical and methodological heterogeneity of included studies, mainly because of different supplementation strategies, formulations, vitamin D status of participants, and reported outcomes. There is an urgent need for well-designed and adequately powered randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with an appropriate randomisation procedure, comparability of study arms and preferably double-blinding. We identified 21 ongoing and three completed studies without published results, which indicates that these needs will be addressed and that our findings are subject to change in the future. Due to the living approach of this work, we will update the review periodically.
Calcifediol Treatment and Hospital Mortality Due to COVID-19: A Cohort Study.
CONTEXT Calcifediol has been proposed as a potential treatment for COVID-19 patients. OBJECTIVE To compare the administration or not of oral calcifediol on mortality risk of patients hospitalized because of COVID-19. DESIGN Retrospective, multicenter, open, non-randomized cohort study. SETTINGS Hospitalized care. PATIENTS Patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 between 5 February and 5 May 2020 in five hospitals in the South of Spain. INTERVENTION Patients received calcifediol (25-hydroxyvitamin D3) treatment (0.266 mg/capsule, 2 capsules on entry and then one capsule on day 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28) or not. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE In-hospital mortality during the first 30 days after admission. RESULTS A total of 537 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 (317 males (59%), median age, 70 years), and 79 (14.7%) received calcifediol treatment. Overall, in-hospital mortality during the first 30 days was 17.5%. The OR of death for patients receiving calcifediol (mortality rate of 5%) was 0.22 (95% CI, 0.08 to 0.61) compared to patients not receiving such treatment (mortality rate of 20%; p < 0.01). Patients who received calcifediol after admission were more likely than those not receiving treatment to have comorbidity and a lower rate of CURB-65 score for pneumonia severity ≥ 3 (one point for each of confusion, urea > 7 mmol/L, respiratory rate ≥ 30/min, systolic blood pressure < 90 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure ≤ 60 mm Hg, and age ≥ 65 years), acute respiratory distress syndrome (moderate or severe), c-reactive protein, chronic kidney disease, and blood urea nitrogen. In a multivariable logistic regression model, adjusting for confounders, there were significant differences in mortality for patients receiving calcifediol compared with patients not receiving it (OR = 0.16 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.80). CONCLUSION Among patients hospitalized with COVID-19, treatment with calcifediol, compared with those not receiving calcifediol, was significantly associated with lower in-hospital mortality during the first 30 days. The observational design and sample size may limit the interpretation of these findings.
"Effect of calcifediol treatment and best available therapy versus best available therapy on intensive care unit admission and mortality among patients hospitalized for COVID-19: A pilot randomized clinical study".
The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology. 2020;:105751
OBJECTIVE The vitamin D endocrine system may have a variety of actions on cells and tissues involved in COVID-19 progression especially by decreasing the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Calcifediol can rapidly increase serum 25OHD concentration. We therefore evaluated the effect of calcifediol treatment, on Intensive Care Unit Admission and Mortality rate among Spanish patients hospitalized for COVID-19. DESIGN Parallel pilot randomized open label, double-masked clinical trial. SETTING University hospital setting (Reina Sofia University Hospital, Córdoba Spain.) PARTICIPANTS 76 consecutive patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection, clinical picture of acute respiratory infection, confirmed by a radiographic pattern of viral pneumonia and by a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR with CURB65 severity scale (recommending hospital admission in case of total score > 1). PROCEDURES All hospitalized patients received as best available therapy the same standard care, (per hospital protocol), of a combination of hydroxychloroquine (400 mg every 12 h on the first day, and 200 mg every 12 h for the following 5 days), azithromycin (500 mg orally for 5 days. Eligible patients were allocated at a 2 calcifediol:1 no calcifediol ratio through electronic randomization on the day of admission to take oral calcifediol (0.532 mg), or not. Patients in the calcifediol treatment group continued with oral calcifediol (0.266 mg) on day 3 and 7, and then weekly until discharge or ICU admission. Outcomes of effectiveness included rate of ICU admission and deaths. RESULTS Of 50 patients treated with calcifediol, one required admission to the ICU (2%), while of 26 untreated patients, 13 required admission (50 %) p value X2 Fischer test p < 0.001. Univariate Risk Estimate Odds Ratio for ICU in patients with Calcifediol treatment versus without Calcifediol treatment: 0.02 (95 %CI 0.002-0.17). Multivariate Risk Estimate Odds Ratio for ICU in patients with Calcifediol treatment vs Without Calcifediol treatment ICU (adjusting by Hypertension and T2DM): 0.03 (95 %CI: 0.003-0.25). Of the patients treated with calcifediol, none died, and all were discharged, without complications. The 13 patients not treated with calcifediol, who were not admitted to the ICU, were discharged. Of the 13 patients admitted to the ICU, two died and the remaining 11 were discharged. CONCLUSION Our pilot study demonstrated that administration of a high dose of Calcifediol or 25-hydroxyvitamin D, a main metabolite of vitamin D endocrine system, significantly reduced the need for ICU treatment of patients requiring hospitalization due to proven COVID-19. Calcifediol seems to be able to reduce severity of the disease, but larger trials with groups properly matched will be required to show a definitive answer.