Low testosterone predicts hypoxemic respiratory insufficiency and mortality in patients with COVID-19 disease: another piece in the COVID puzzle

Link to article at PubMed

J Endocrinol Invest. 2021 Nov 18. doi: 10.1007/s40618-021-01700-7. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: Hypogonadism was described in high number of male subjects with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. In this study, we investigated whether low testosterone (T) values may influence the clinical presentation and outcome of SARS-CoV-2-related pneumonia in a large population of adult males with coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19).

METHODS: Two hundred twenty one adult males hospitalized for COVID-19 at the IRCCS Humanitas Research Hospital, Rozzano-Milan (Italy) were consecutively evaluated for arterial partial pressure oxygen (PaO2)/fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) ratio, serum T and inflammatory parameters at study entry, need of ventilation during hospital stay and in-hospital mortality.

RESULTS: Subjects low T values (< 8 nmol/L; 176 cases) were significantly older (P = 0.001) and had higher serum interleukin-6 (P = 0.001), C-reactive protein (P < 0.001), lactate dehydrogenase (P < 0.001), ferritin (P = 0.012), lower P/F ratio (P = 0.001), increased prevalence of low T3 syndrome (P = 0.041), acute respiratory insufficiency (P < 0.001), more frequently need of ventilation (P < 0.001) and higher mortality rate (P = 0.009) compared to subjects with higher T values. In the multivariable regression analyses, T values maintained significant associations with acute respiratory insufficiency (odds ratio [OR] 0.85, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.79-0.94; P < 0.001 and in-hospital mortality (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.69-0.95; P = 0.009), independently of age, comorbidities, thyroid function and inflammation.

CONCLUSION: Low T levels values are associated with unfavorable outcome of COVID-19. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate the long-term outcomes of hypogonadism related to COVID-19 and the clinical impact of T replacement during and after acute illness.

PMID:34792796 | DOI:10.1007/s40618-021-01700-7

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