David Meltzer, University of ChicagoPrincipal Investigator: Dr. David Meltzer

Disease: COVID-19

Research Description: COVID-19 infections, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, has resulted in a global pandemic. The burden of COVID-19 in the US has fallen disproportionately on racial minorities and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, including the Black and Latinx communities. Social distancing remains a critical strategy but may be particularly difficult for these communities, which have higher proportions of multigenerational households and essential workers who cannot avoid exposure to COVID-19. Vitamin D, produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight, has roles in bone health and immune function. Previous clinical trials have found that Vitamin D supplementation can reduce other viral respiratory infections in patients, and there is growing evidence that Vitamin D supplementation might reduce the incidence and severity of COVID-19. The research team recently published an observational analysis that correlates Vitamin D deficiency with increased COVID-19 risk. Now, the team will conduct a clinical trial to test the ability of 2 different doses of Vitamin D supplementation to decrease the incidence and adverse outcomes of COVID-19 in a diverse, largely minority, cross-section of Chicagoans. Although this study will be performed in Chicago, its findings will be relevant nationally and internationally.

Funding Partners: The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust

CWR funding role: Primary funder