Coronavirus | Here’s how low testosterone is linked to severe Covid risk in men. However, a study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, could not prove that low testosterone is a cause of severe COVID-19.
Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in the US have noted that low hormone levels may simply serve as a signal of some of the causes.
They urge caution with ongoing clinical trials investigating treatment regimens that block or lower testosterone or increase estrogen as a treatment for men with COVID-19.
Estrogen is a hormone which is again responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system.
Higher education author Abhinav Diwan who is a professor of medicine said that as it spread, there was a widespread perception that testosterone was wrong. But we found something different in men.
Diwan said that If a man had low testosterone when he first arrived at the hospital, the risk of having strong COVID-19 was significantly higher compared to men with high circulating testosterone.
He noted that if testosterone levels dropped steadily during hospitalization, the risk increased.
Researchers measured large amounts of hormones in blood samples from 90 men and 62 women with symptoms of COVID-19, and who confirmed the cases of illness.
Of the 143 patients who were admitted to the hospital, the researchers had measured the hormone levels again on the days 3, 7, 14 and 28, as long as the patients remained in the hospital during these time periods.
They also measure the levels of estradiol, the type of estrogen produced by the body, and IGF-1, an important growth hormone similar to insulin and which plays a role in muscle building.
Among women, the researchers found no correlation or any kind of connection between the levels of any hormone and the severity of the disease.
Among men, the COVID levels were found to get linked with the the testosterone levels.
The level of testosterone in the blood of 250 nanograms per deciliter or less is considered low testosterone in older men.
Upon getting in to the hospital, men with strong COVID-19 had an average testosterone level of 53 nanogram per deciliter. Those with very low morbidity averaged 151 nanograms per deciliter.
On the third day, the average testosterone level for very sick men was 19 nanograms per deciliter.
With lower testosterone levels, the disease is worsening, researchers say.
For example, those with low testosterone levels in the blood were at greater risk for respiratory failure, requiring intensive care or death, they said.
Thirty-seven patients – 25 of whom were male – died during the study.
Researchers have noted that other factors that are known to increase COVID-19 risk factors, including obesity, obesity, and diabetes, are also associated with lower testosterone.
“Groups of early men were known to have low levels of testosterone throughout the board,” said lead author Sandeep Dhindsa, an endocrinologist at Saint Louis University, in the US.
He said that they also found that those men with COVID-19 were not very ill at first, but had low testosterone levels, may need intensive care, or intubation for the next two or three days.
Dhindsa said that the low testosterone levels seem to predict which patients may be the most ill in the next few days.