Sunnier areas are associated with fewer deaths from Covid-19, an observational study suggests.
Increased exposure to the sun’s rays – specifically UVA – could act as a simple public health intervention if further research establishes it causes a reduction in mortality rates, experts say.
The study found that people living in areas with the highest level of exposure to UVA rays – which makes up 95 per cent of the sun’s UV light – had a lower risk of dying from Covid-19 compared with those with lower levels. The analysis was repeated in England and Italy with the same results.
The researchers took into account factors known to be associated with increased exposure to the virus and risk of death such as age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, population density, air pollution, temperature and levels of infection in local areas.
The observed reduction in risk of death from Covid-19 could not be explained by higher levels of vitamin D, the experts said. Only areas, with insufficient levels of UVB to produce significant vitamin D in the body, were included in the study.
Release date: 13 April 2021
Source: University of Edinburgh