Aims: Accumulating evidence links COVID-19 incidence and outcomes with vitamin D status. We investigated if an interaction existed between vitamin D levels and social deprivation in those with and without COVID-19 infection. Methods: Upper- or lower-respiratory tract samples from 104 patients were tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in accordance with Public Health England criteria (January–May 2020) using RT-PCR. The latest serum total 25-hydroxyvitamin D(25-OHD) levels, quantified by LC-MS/MS, was obtained for each patient (September 2019–April 2020). Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) was generated for each patient. Univariate and logistic regression analyses examined associations between age, gender, 25-OHD, IMD score and SARS-CoV-2 result in the total cohort and subgroups. Results: In the total cohort, a positive SARS-CoV-2 test was significantly associated with lower 25-OHD levels and higher IMD. A positive test was associated with higher IMD in the male subgroup and with lower 25-OHD levels in those aged >72 years. Low 25-OHD and IMD quintile 5 were separately associated with positive COVID-19 outcome in the cohort. Patients in IMD quintile 5 with vitamin D levels ≤34.4 nmol/L were most likely to have a positive COVID-19 outcome, even more so if aged >72 years (OR: 19.07, 95%CI: 1.71–212.25; p=0.016). Conclusions: In this cohort, combined low vitamin D levels and higher social deprivation were most associated with COVID-19 infection. In older age, this combination was even more significant. Our data supports the recommendations for normalising vitamin D levels in those with deficient / insufficient levels and in groups at high-risk for deficiency.
Introduction Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is common in older age and in diabetes (DM). Phosphodiesterase type 5-inhibitors (PDE5-is) are the first-line for ED. We investigated how type of diabetes and age of males affects the PDE5-i use in the primary care setting. Methods 2018-19 general practice level quantity of all PDE5-i agents were taken from the GP Prescribing Data set in England. The variation in outcomes across practices was examined across one year, and for the same practice against the previous year. Results We included 5,761 larger practices supporting 25.8million men of whom 4.2million≥65 years old. Of these, 1.4million had T2DM, with 0.8million of these>65. 137,000 people had T1DM. 28.8million tablets of PDE5-i were prescribed within the 12 months (2018-19) period in 3.7million prescriptions (7.7 tablets/prescription), at total costs of £15.8million (£0.55/tablet). The NHS ED limit of 1 tablet/user/week suggests that 540,000 males are being prescribed a PDE5-i at a cost of £29/year each. With approximately 30,000 GPs practising, this is equivalent to one GP providing 2.5 prescriptions/week to overall 18 males. There was a 3x variation between the highest decile of practices (2.6 tablets/male/year) and lowest decile (0.96 tablets/male/year). The statistical model captured 14% of this variation and showed T1DM males were the largest users, while men age<65 with T2DM were being prescribed 4 times as much as non-DM. Those T2DM>65 were prescribed 80% of the non-DM amount. Conclusion There is wide variation in use of PDE5-is. With only 14% variance capture, other factors including wide variation in patient awareness, prescribing rules of local health providers, and recognition of the importance of male sexual health by GP prescribers might have significant impact.