Giving high-dose Vitamin D to coronavirus patients when they are admitted to hospital could cut deaths by 60 per cent – double the benefit of the best current drug, new research suggests.
Scientists from the University of Barcelona showed that patients prescribed calcifediol – an intensive dose of Vitamin D usually used for people with chronic kidney failure – had their risk of admission to intensive care dramatically cut and death rates significantly lowered.
Currently the steroid dexamethasone has shown the greatest impact, reducing deaths by 30 per cent, and is now recommended to seriously ill NHS patients. But the new study suggests that calcifediol could be twice as beneficial if given early.
In the study, 10 per cent of patients admitted to the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona with coronavirus died within 30 days.
However, while 57 out of 379 (15 per cent) control patients died, just 36 out of 551 (6.5 per cent) of those treated with calcifediol died.
They found that earlier treatment was better. If given on admission to intensive care, the treatment made no difference.