Variables responsible for the differential COVID-19 pandemic severity among countries remain undefined. Zinc, a micronutrient required for immunocompetence, is found deficient in populations. We hypothesized the differential COVID-19 severity observed among European countries could be associated with the Zn-deficiency prevalence. The COVID-19 data from different stages of pandemic i.e., 8 April, 12 and 26 May 2020, were analyzed for covariation with the estimated Zn-deficiency. A significant, relatively stable, but negative correlation of Zn-deficiency with cases per million for the time period (r(20): -0.4930 to -0.5335, p-value: 0.02720 to 0.0154) and a steady improvement of covariation with deaths per million (r(20): -0.4056; p-value: 0.0760 on 26 May 2020) was observed. Considering, Zinc ′s key immunomodulatory role, widespread deficiency along with the self- and prescribed intervention in different target groups, e.g. children, women, elderly, carefully planned dedicated exploratory studies to understand the basis of the observed association are advisable.
Competing Interest Statement
The authors have declared no competing interest.
SS acknowledges the funding support from Banaras Hindu University to his laboratory. No external funding specific to this work was received
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