Coronavirus Pandemic

UAE: Vitamin D deficiency could cause severe Covid-19 infection, study shows

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on June 2, 2021


More than 70 per cent of the UAE population has the deficiency.

A UAE study has found a "strong correlation" between vitamin D deficiency and the severity of Covid-19 infections.

The Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, is now encouraging the community to boost their vitamin D levels.

The study of 522 UAE Covid-19 patients found that 59 per cent of those with vitamin D deficiency showed more severe symptoms.

More than 70 per cent of the UAE population has the deficiency.

The newly published study, conducted by Dr. Habiba Al Safar, an Emirati research scholar, and Dr. Fatme Al Anouti, Associate Professor of Clinical Biochemistry at Zayed University, has been approved by Abu Dhabi Health Research Ethics Committee.

Several international studies have documented the correlation between vitamin D deficiency and severity of viral infections, such as influenza. In addition to this, there is mounting evidence from global studies that indicates that lower vitamin D levels are commonly associated with risk of acquiring, and dying from, Covid-19 among hospitalised patients.

The study found that patients who had severe infection were older and more obese than other participants.

This finding is in accordance with earlier studies that have identified age, obesity and vitamin D deficiency as well-established factors for Covid-19 infection. The study concludes that vitamin D has a protective effect against Covid-19 infection.

Dr. Asma Ibrahim Al Mannaei, Executive Director Research & Innovation, from Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said: “This local study … presents promising results to better understand the protective effect of vitamin D against Covid-19 … as a preventive tool against infection. (It) also may play a role in boosting the immunity of patients during infection.

“The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi is calling on the community to take note of the importance of vitamin D supplementation. Such preventive measure, in addition to vaccinations, will be important in maintaining the health and safety of our society.”

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