Treatment with calcitriol in patients with renal impairment is associated with a significant reduction in COVID-19 death.

Treatment with calcitriol in patients with renal impairment is associated with a significant reduction in COVID-19 death. 1080 689 Parc Taulí current affairs

The results are the result of a population study carried out in Catalonia by the Parc Taulí Health Corporation, the University of Barcelona (UB), the Hospital del Mar Institute for Medical Research (IMIM) and the Health Quality and Evaluation Agency of Catalonia (AQuAS).

Researchers in this study have shown that the active form of vitamin D, calcitriol, is able to significantly reduce death from COVID-19 in patients with advanced kidney failure.

This is an observational study in which 8.076 adult patients treated with calcitriol in Catalonia in the last months before the pandemic were analyzed and compared, using statistical techniques, with a population with similar characteristics in terms of age. sex, comorbidities or other concomitant treatments received.

The results of the study, which were published in the open access journal Biomedicines (ed. MDPI), showed that patients taking calcitriol were 34% less likely to die from COVID-19 than patients not treated. "This reduction in mortality was 43% if patients suffered from advanced renal failure, while in patients with good renal function, the reduction in mortality was observed only in those taking high doses of the drug," says Dr. Joaquim Oristrell from Parc Taulí, principal investigator of the study.

"The importance of the finding lies in the fact that, so far, studies with other vitamin D derivatives, such as colecalciferol or calcifediol, have been performed with few patients and, in general, have not detected any appreciable reduction in mortality from COVID-19 ”highlights Dra. Maria Grau from the UB Department of Medicine, who co-led the study. "This study suggests that calcitriol, which is the active hormonal form of vitamin D, would have more potential than other vitamin D derivatives to slow down the severe forms of COVID-19," the researchers conclude.

However, the authors also warn that calcitriol can induce hypercalcemia and should not be administered without medical supervision. On the other hand, the benefit was observed mainly in patients with advanced renal failure, while more studies are needed to know for sure whether it can also be useful in the population without renal failure.

Study reference

Oristrell, J .; Oliva, JC; Subirana, I .; Married, E .; Dominguez, D .; Toloba, A .; Aguilera, P .; Esplugues, J .; Fafian, P .; Grau, M. “Association of Calcitriol Supplementation with Reduced COVID-19 Mortality in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: A Population-Based Study”. Biomedicines 2021, 9 (5), 509. Doi 10.3390 / biomedicines9050509

Press release

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Interview with Joaquim Oristrell, principal investigator of the study

Link to the current affairs channel of the Parc Taulí Research and Innovation Institute

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