Medicine in Drug Discovery
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an enormous and growing burden on the population and health infrastructure, warranting innovative ways to mitigate risk of contracting and developing severe forms of this disease. A growing body of literature raises the issue of vitamin C and vitamin D as a risk-assessment tool, and therapeutic option, in COVID-19.
The objective of this pilot study was to measure serum vitamin C and vitamin D levels in a cohort of patients with critical COVID-19 illness in our community hospital ICU, correlate with other illness risk factors (age, BMI, HgbA1c, smoking status), generate hypotheses, and suggest further therapeutic intervention studies.
This pilot study included all 21 critically ill COVID-19 patients hospitalized in May 2020 in the ICU of North Suburban Medical Center, Thornton, Colorado, in whose care the principal investigator (C.A.) was involved. We measured patients’ serum vitamin C and vitamin D levels, and standard risk factors like age, BMI, HbA1c, and smoking status. Variables in this study were gauged using descriptive statistics.
Of 21 critically ill COVID-19 patients (15 males and 6 females, 17 Hispanic and 4 Caucasian, of median age 61 years, range 20–94), there were 11 survivors.
Serum levels of vitamin C and vitamin D were low in most of our critically ill COVID-19 ICU patients.
Older age and low vitamin C level appeared co-dependent risk factors for mortality from COVID-19 in our sample.
Insulin resistance and obesity were prevalent in our small cohort, but smoking was not.
Our pilot study found low serum levels of vitamin C and vitamin D in most of our critically ill COVID-19 ICU patients. Older age and low vitamin C level appeared co-dependent risk factors for mortality. Many were also insulin-resistant or diabetic, overweight or obese, known as independent risk factors for low vitamin C and vitamin D levels, and for COVID-19.
These findings suggest the need to further explore whether caring for COVID-19 patients ought to routinely include measuring and correcting serum vitamin C and vitamin D levels, and whether treating critically ill COVID-19 warrants acute parenteral vitamin C and vitamin D replacement.
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Arvinte, Cristian; Singh, Maharaj; and Marik, Paul E., "Serum Levels of Vitamin C and Vitamin D in a Cohort of Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients of a North American Community Hospital Intensive Care Unit in May 2020: A Pilot Study" (2020). School of Dentistry Faculty Research and Publications. 409.
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