Title Do vitamin D levels affect risk of infection and severity of COVID-19? Degree of recognition National Media name/outlet News GP Media type Web Country/Territory Australia Date 15/05/20 Description Associate Professor Mark Morgan, Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Quality Care (REC–QC), told newsGP he does not believe there is enough quality evidence to change current Australian recommendations regarding vitamin D.
‘At the moment, I’ve not seen any evidence that using vitamin D could prevent or treat COVID-19,’ he said.
‘I know that there’s a number of controlled trials that are being commenced to look into that, but we’ll have to wait for the results of those trials before we have any information.’
While Associate Professor Morgan said there are ‘some really interesting mechanisms by which vitamin D could be an important mediator’, he is also concerned by the apparent results of observational studies that may be heavily influenced by confounding factors.
‘For example, people with low vitamin D quite often end up being the frail elderly in residential aged care facilities and those are the very people that are at risk of death from COVID-19,’ he said.
‘We don’t know whether there’s any causality between low vitamin D or whether it’s just an association.’
He is keen to note that as new evidence emerges regarding potential chemoprophylaxis or treatment for COVID-19, it is examined by the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce (the taskforce) and updated weekly in a living guideline. He is the chair of the expert panel for primary and chronic care for the taskforce.
At this stage, Associate Professor Morgan does not believe further testing of vitamin D levels should be encouraged based on what is known so far regarding vitamin D and COVID-19.
‘There isn’t enough evidence related to COVID-19 to say that we should be adding that to a set of tests at the moment or doing further what we normally would have done to deal with vitamin D,’ he said.
‘I don’t think there’s enough evidence to make a change in practice at all.’
Producer/Author Dr Evelyn Lewin Persons Mark Morgan