Vitamin D as a Protective Factor in COVID-19 Infection in Elderly Schizophrenia and Dementia Inpatients: A Case Series

Assaf Shelef, Sagit Dahan, Shira Weizman, Esther Bloemhof Bris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Risk factors for severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infection include old age, chronic illness, and neurological conditions. In contrast, high vitamin D levels are known to augment immune activity and to reduce the severity of viral infections. Recently, a possible association between the likelihood of COVID-19 infection, COVID-19 severity, and vitamin D blood levels was reported. Objective: To assess the possible association between vitamin D long-term supplementation and COVID-19 symptomatic severity and complications of COVID-19 infection in elderly psychiatric inpatients, a high at-risk group. Methods: We conducted a retrospective case series study. Data of U elderly COVID-19 positive inpatients, presenting with dementia or schizophrenia and other medical conditions were extracted from medical records. All patients maintained a 800 IU daily dose of vitamin D prior to the infection. Results: Most of the inpatients were asymptomatic or presented very few symptoms. No need for intensive care unit intervention or deaths were reported. Cognitive functioning of the patients remained unchanged. Conclusions: Pre-existing vitamin D supplementation may reinforce immunity and reduce COVID-19 severity in elderly psychiatric inpatients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-77
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume24
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19)
  • dementia
  • elderly
  • schizophrenia
  • vitamin D

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