COVID-19 and Bone Health

The study titled “COVID-19 and Bone Health,” published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences in 2023, provides a comprehensive analysis of the impact of COVID-19, including long COVID, on bone health.

Here is a detailed summary:


  • The study explores the relationship between COVID-19 and bone health, focusing on long-term consequences.
  • It highlights the less understood extrapulmonary effects of COVID-19, particularly on bones, and its implications for conditions like osteoporosis.

Key Points

  1. Impact of SARS-CoV-2 on Bone Health
    • Evidence suggests a direct negative effect of SARS-CoV-2 on bone health.
    • Studies using animal models demonstrate significant bone loss following COVID-19 infection, with increased osteoclastic activity (cells breaking down bone tissue).
  2. Interaction Between COVID-19 and Osteoporosis
    • COVID-19 patients, especially the elderly, are at increased risk of osteoporosis and related complications.
    • The virus and its treatment impact bone mineral density (BMD) and bone health.
    • Factors such as cytokine storms, oxidative stress, and testosterone levels contribute to bone health deterioration in COVID-19 patients.
  3. Cytokine Storm and Bone Health
    • The cytokine storm associated with severe COVID-19 cases can significantly influence bone loss due to increased pro-inflammatory cytokines, which promote osteoclastogenesis (formation of bone-resorbing cells).
  4. Influence of Vitamin D and Calcium Homeostasis
    • Vitamin D plays a critical role in bone health and immune response, with deficiencies linked to worse COVID-19 outcomes.
    • The study emphasizes the importance of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  5. Impact of Steroid Therapy on Bone Health
    • While steroids are used in treating COVID-19, long-term use can lead to complications like steroid-induced avascular necrosis, affecting bone health.
  6. Challenges in Osteoporosis Management During the Pandemic
    • The pandemic has disrupted routine osteoporosis care, including screening and treatment.
    • The study suggests alternatives like telemedicine for managing osteoporosis during these times.


  • The study concludes that COVID-19, particularly long COVID, has a significant impact on bone health.
  • It recommends further research and long-term follow-up of COVID-19 survivors to fully understand and address these effects.


This study highlights the importance of considering bone health as a significant aspect of COVID-19 recovery and long-term management. It underscores the need for healthcare providers to monitor and address bone health issues in COVID-19 patients, particularly those with long COVID symptoms. Additionally, the study suggests the potential benefits of vitamin D supplementation and careful use of steroids, considering their impact on bone health.

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