In a major new study, researchers have found a link between lower #plasma #zinc levels and an increased risk of death in #Covid-19 patients. The study was led by Dr Roberto Güerri-Fernández from Hospital Del Mar, Barcelona, and the results presented at the 2020 ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Disease (#ECCVID). The study involved a retrospective analysis of symptomatic Covid-19 patients admitted to the hospital between 15th March and 30th April 2020.
Baseline levels of zinc in plasma were taken from all patients on admission, with computer modelling and statistical analyses used to assess the impact of these levels on mortality. Of the 611 patients admitted during this period, the study comprised a cohort of 249 of whom 8 per cent died. The mean baseline level of zinc in these patients at admission was 61 micrograms per decilitre (mcg/dl). The levels were however much lower amongst those patients who died, with an average of 43mcg/dl.
On analysis of the results the research team were able to see that for each unit increase of plasma zinc at admission there was a 7 per cent reduction of in-hospital mortality. The #proteins that indicate systemic inflammation, #interleukin-6, were lower when zinc levels were high. This led the team to conclude that increased intracellular zinc concentration efficiently impairs the replication of the virus. Further studies are needed to firmly assess the association, and the work needs a full peer-review, but the early findings indicate promise for the positive impact of zinc supplementation in reducing Covid-19 mortality.