Fewer COVID-19 deaths in sunny areas
Several studies have already shown that UV rays kill corona viruses. Sunlight also contains this radiation. In particular, the components of long-wave UV rays, which make up about 95 percent of sunlight, appear to have an inhibitory effect on SARS-CoV-2. A recent study has now shown that there are fewer deaths associated with COVID-19 in sunny areas.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland compared all recorded deaths from COVID-19 documented in the United States from January to April 2020. The scientists included UV values for 2,474 regions in the United States. It clearly turns out that fewer people have died from COVID-19 in sunny areas. The search results are displayed in “British Journal of Dermatology“Was released.
How do UVA levels affect the COVID-19 death figures
The assessment came to the conclusion that people who live in areas with the highest levels of UV rays have a lower risk of dying from COVID-19 compared to those who live in areas with low UV radiation. As a control, the task force repeated the analysis with data from England and Italy – the same relationship was found here as well.
Dermatologist Dr. Richard Weller of the study team. During the analysis, the researchers took into account all known factors associated with an increased risk of death, such as age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, population density, air pollution, temperature, and infection level in local areas.
Vitamin D is not responsible for the protective effect
The researchers also showed that an increased potential vitamin D production due to sunlight could not account for the protective effect. Because vitamin D production is only stimulated by short-wave ultraviolet rays. However, the same decrease in mortality was found in areas with high UVB but low UVB.
Nitric oxide as the cause of the effect?
Instead, the researchers see a possible explanation in released nitrogen monoxide. Exposure to sunlight causes the skin to release nitric oxide. The working group points to some laboratory studies that have shown that nitric oxide prevents SARS-CoV-2 from reproducing, that is, reproducing.
Better heart health in sunny areas?
Cardiovascular health can also be a factor. Again, previous research has shown that overall cardiovascular health is better in areas with more sunlight. People who live in sunny areas often have lower blood pressure and a lower risk of heart attacks compared to people who live in areas with little sunlight. Since poor heart health is a known risk factor for death in COVID-19, this aspect may also be partially responsible.
The exact cause is unknown
However, the bottom line is that the team confirms that this is an observational study where only a connection has been established, but not explained. Further investigations are necessary for this. (Fb)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been examined by medical professionals.
Diploma Editor (FH) Volker Plasik
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-medication. He cannot replace a visit to the doctor.