A new study has revealed that people who reside in sunnier areas might be at a lower risk of death due to COVID19. The study has been conducted in the US and has been repeated in Italy and England as well. Scientists have compared deaths related to COVID19 with ultraviolet levels of different areas. They have found that areas that are sunnier are linked to fewer deaths due to COVID19. The new study has found that the ratio between the risk of death in a certain group of people and the risk of mortality for all other groups of people has reduced in the US by 29 percent for every 100 kilojoules per square meter increase in average daily ultraviolet light. Experts have said that there has been a combined decline of 32 percent in the risk of mortality due to COVID19 in Italy and England. At present, health experts are trying to find out a correlation between sunlight and reduced risk of death due to COVID19. As per the experts, nitrate oxide is secreted from the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Some studies have revealed that nitrate oxide reduces the ability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to multiply further. The findings of the study have been released in the British Journal of Dermatology.
Experts have said that other studies have revealed that elevated exposure to sunlight is linked to a low risk of heart attack and lower blood pressure. Both these aspects might be able to reduce the risk of mortality due to COVID19. Experts who have been involved with the new study have said that the reduced risk of death linked to COVID19 cannot be explained by vitamin D levels in the local population. The study has been based in regions where UVB (type B ultraviolet) levels are too less to produce major vitamin D levels in the body. The study has accounted for other known risk parameters linked to exposure and an elevated risk of death due to COVID19 including age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, rate of infection in the area, air pollution, and temperature. As the study has been observational, it has not been able to show cause and effect.
Health experts have said that there is a need for further studies to find out the cause and effect and if cause and effect are established, sunlight can act as an effortless public health intervention. The corresponding author of the study, Dr. Richard Weller, who is also a consultant dermatologist and reader at the University of Edinburgh, has said that the findings of the study show sunlight exposure as one of the effective ways of reducing the risk of death due to COVID19. Health experts have said that the results of the study might be quite relevant to Israel. Israel is a sunny nation with high levels of the UV index.