Original research
Association between vitamin D supplementation or serum vitamin D level and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 including clinical course, morbidity and mortality outcomes? A systematic review
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  • Published on:
    Formal proof for an effect remains to be determined by randomized controlled trials
    • Amy L Grove, Associate Professor of Health Technology Assessment and Implementation Science, NIHR Advanced Fellow, Director of Warwick Evid Warwick Medical School
    • Other Contributors:
      • Alexander Tsertsvadze, Independent Consultant
      • Lena Al-Khudairy, Associate Professor of Public Health and Evidence Synthesis
      • Aileen E Clarke, Professor of Public Health and Health Services Research

    The study authors acknowledge the delay from the point of submission of the article to final publication. This delay inevitably means that we were unable to offer a more current version but acknowledge that the field may have moved on as stated in implications of practice. We note that the value of systematic reviews is maximised when they are up-to-date and agree with the author that there may be new relevant evidence which has been published.

    We would like to thank the author for highlighting the issue of a much greater magnitude than the specific one related to our systematic review. Over the past two decades, several authors and organisations highlighted the tension between the average length of time for conducting a systematic review and long editorial process needed to publish the systematic review in a journal (median time: 15 months) versus the need for updating systematic reviews that arises due to emergence of new relevant evidence published over time (median time: 1-5 years).(1-5)

    We believe that the COVID-19 pandemic contributed towards even more prolonged duration of editorial process than usual by overburdening its staff with multiple submissions of studies on SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, the topic of SARS-CoV-2 infection is a new and rapidly emerging field where the evidence for any given research question is still evolving, thus being insufficient and uncertain. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fast pace of published literat...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Year old data of doubtful relevance
    • Helga Maria Rhein, retired general practitioner previously Sighthill health centre, Edinburgh, EH11 4AU

    Would you please explain why you didn’t ask the authors to update their study? By 10th of June 2020, nearly one year ago, no significant association was found between Covid-19 and vitamin D by the authors. But since then at least two further systematic reviews have shown significant benefits to those who are not vitamin D deficient (1,2) and groups of experts have given statements (3,4), calling for avoidance of vitamin D deficiency. To publicise the study of Grove et al now, in May 2021, so that findings are now delayed by nearly a year, is misleading and in the face of the ongoing pandemic, irresponsible, especially while we are aware of signifiant prevalences of vitamin D deficiency.


    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.