Background: Vitamin D is known to suppress the release of proinflammatory cytokines, increase the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines, and present an immunomodulatory effect. In light of the foregoing, it is suggested that vitamin D may play an important role in the course of COVID-19 infection. This study, therefore, aimed to examine the relationship between vitamin D levels and length of hospital stay of COVID-19 patients.
Methods: This retrospective study was conducted between March 15th and October 15th, 2020, among 768 patients who were hospitalized due to the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection confirmed with PCR tests taken at the Health Sciences University, Antalya Training and Research Hospital. The study included 39 patients aged 18 - 65 years, whose 25 (OH) vitamin D levels were examined within 3 months prior to the diagnosis with PCR, and whose results were found ≥ 30 ng/mL, and those patients whose 25 (OH) vitamin D levels were examined within 3 months after the diagnosis with PCR, and whose results were found < 30 ng/mL. The patients were grouped according to 25 (OH) vitamin D levels and evaluated in terms of length of hospital stay.
Results: Of all the 39 patients in this study, 61.5% were female, 38.5% were male, with a mean age of 48.64 ± 11.79 years. The average of 25 (OH) vitamin D levels of the patients was 21.44 ± 11.17 ng/mL, the average length of hospital stay was 9.41 ± 8.90 days. The length of stay was found to increase significantly in participants who were 45 years and older, who were male, those with chronic diseases, and those with lung involvement detected on thoracic CT imaging at the time of admission. No statistically significant difference appeared with respect to the length of hospital stay when the patients were evaluated according to their 25 (OH) vitamin D levels.
Conclusions: No statistically significant relationship was found between the patients’ length of hospital stay due to the COVID-19 infection and their 25 (OH) vitamin D levels in patients aged 18 - 65 years. Further prospective clinical studies still need to be conducted with large numbers of patients excluding independent risk factors such as the presence of a chronic disease.