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Severe vitamin D deficiency in patients admitted to the emergency department with severe sepsis is associated with an increased 90-day mortality


Background The role of vitamin D in the response to infection has been increasingly acknowledged. However, the influence of severe vitamin D deficiency on the outcome of patients admitted for severe sepsis is unknown. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the association between severe vitamin D deficiency and sepsis-related outcomes in patients presenting to the ED.

Methods This single centre prospective study included patients presenting to the ED with severe sepsis from April 2014 until December 2017. 25-Hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) was measured in a blood sample drawn within 24 hours of admission to the ED, and severe vitamin D deficiency was defined as 25(OH)D <12 ng/mL. 90-day mortality was compared between patients with and without severe vitamin D deficiency by a multivariable analysis adjusting for confounders and according to a Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.

Results 263 patients were initially screened and 164 patients with severe sepsis were included in this study, 18% of whom had septic shock. Severe vitamin D deficiency was present in 46% of patients. The overall 90-day mortality rate was 26.2% and the median length of stay was 14 days. In a logistic regression accounting for sepsis severity and age-adjusted comorbidities, severe vitamin D deficiency was associated with increased mortality (OR=2.69 (95% CI 1.03 to 7.00), p=0.043), and lower chances of hospital discharge (sub-HR=0.66 (95% CI 0.44 to 0.98)). In the subgroup of patients admitted to the intensive care unit, severe vitamin D deficiency was associated with an increased 28-day adjusted mortality (HR=3.06 (95% CI 1.05 to 8.94), p=0.04) and lower chances of discharge (sub-HR=0.51 (95% CI 0.32 to 0.81)).

Conclusions Severe vitamin D deficiency at ED admission is associated with higher mortality and longer hospital stay in patients with severe sepsis.

  • resuscitation
  • metabolic
  • pneumonia
  • urgent care
  • infections

Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository. Data are available at the following DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.13573502.

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