The Role of Vitamin D deficiency in COVID-19 related deaths in BAME, Obese and Other High-risk Categories
It is now widely known that a disproportionate number of COVID-19 related mortalities in the UK havebeen in non-white, BAME populations . The obese, diabetics, hypertensives and the elderly havealso been disproportionately affected. BAME doctors account for 94% of total deaths of doctors butcomprise 44% of doctors . The suggestion that these deaths result from deprivation does not fitwith the high numbers of deaths of doctors and others in higher socio-economic classes; there mustbe a
... there mustbe a different and perhaps more comprehensive explanation.This review examines the compelling body of evidence strongly implicating varying levels of serumvitamin D levels in the significantly disparate outcomes between different groups of people andbetween different countries. It explores the extent of vitamin D deficiency, highlighting countries andcategories of people most likely to be deficient. It demonstrates that the UK suffers from exceptionallyhigh levels of vitamin D deficiency with serum levels averaging only 20ng/ml, half the optimal level; Itexamines the strong body of existing evidence connecting vitamin D deficiency to increasedrespiratory tract infections highlighting the central epigenetic role of vitamin D in immune systemresponses during a respiratory tract infection with SARS-CoV-2; It reviews research flaggingcorrelations between COVID-19 outcomes and vitamin D deficiency and studies providing the firstdirect evidence linking low vitamin D status with worse outcomes from COVID-19. Cautions regardingfuture trial designs and lack of evidence for toxicity concerns are both discussed. Current UK guidelinesrecommend 400 IU of vitamin D per day whereas 6,000-10,000 IU per day is required to maintainblood levels of 40ng/ml, widely accepted as being the level required to support immunity, optimalhealth, and reduction in all-cause mortality. The financial cost of vitamin D deficiency in the UK hasbeen estimated at around £20 billion per annum.