For the first time, data from a study of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 suggests that the disease could worsen testosterone levels in men.
The publication of their results in the journal The Aging Male, experts from Mersin University and Mersin City Education and Research Hospital in Turkey, found that men’s testosterone levels decline at baseline and the likelihood that they will be in intensive care (Intensive care unit) increased significantly.
Lead author Selahittin Çayan, professor of urology, explains that although it has been previously reported that low testosterone levels after a positive SARS-CoV-2 test could be a cause of a poor prognosis, this is the first study to include COVID-19 self shows depleted testosterone.
It is hoped that the development could help explain why so many studies have found that male prognosis is worse than that of women with COVID-19, and therefore a possible improvement in clinical outcomes using testosterone-based ones Treatments to discover.
Testosterone is linked to the immune system of the respiratory system, and low testosterone levels can increase the risk of respiratory infections. Low testosterone levels are also linked to infection-related hospitalization and all-cause mortality in men in ICU patients. Therefore, testosterone treatment can also have benefits beyond improving outcomes for COVID-19.
In our study, the mean total testosterone decreased as the severity of COVID-19 increased. The mean total testosterone level was significantly lower in the intensive care group than in the asymptomatic group. In addition, the mean total testosterone level in the intensive care group was significantly lower than that in the intermediate care unit group. The mean serum follicle-stimulating hormone level was significantly higher in the intensive care group than in the asymptomatic group.
We found hypogonadism – a condition in which the body does not produce enough testosterone in 113 (51.1%) male patients.
The deceased patients had a significantly lower mean total testosterone than the living patients.
However, as many as 65.2% of the 46 asymptomatic male patients had a loss of libido. “
Selahittin Çayan, Professor of Urology, Mersin University
The research team examined a total of 438 patients. This comprised 232 men with SARS-CoV-2 confirmed in the laboratory. All data were collected prospectively. A detailed medical history, full physical exam, and laboratory and radiographic imaging studies were performed on each patient. All patient data was reviewed and verified by the two doctors.
The cohort study was divided into three groups: asymptomatic patients (n: 46), symptomatic patients hospitalized in the Department of Internal Medicine (IMU) (n: 129), and patients hospitalized in the intensive care unit (ICU) ( n: 46).
In the patients tested before the COVID-19 serum gonadal hormone test (n: 24), the total testosterone level in the serum decreased significantly from before the COVID-19 level of 458 ± 198 ng / dl to 315 ± 120? ng / dl at the time of COVID-19 in the patients (p? =? 0.003).
Death was observed in 11 of the male adult patients (4.97%) and 7 of the female patients (3.55%), which showed no significance between the two sexes (p?>? 0.05).
Commenting on the study’s findings, Professor Çayan said, “It might be recommended that testosterone levels also be tested at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis. Men with low sex hormone levels who test positive for COVID-19, testosterone, could be their treatment Improve prognosis. This requires further research. “
One of the limitations of this study is that it does not include a control group of patients with conditions other than COVID-19. This was due to the restrictions placed on the hospital where the patients were monitored.
The authors state that future studies should look at levels of ACE2 (angiotensin converting enzyme 2) – an enzyme that is bound to the cell membranes of cells in the gut – in relation to total testosterone levels.
Çayan, S. et al. (2020) Influence of total testosterone in serum and its relationship to other laboratory parameters on the prognosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in male patients infected with SARS-CoV-2: a cohort study. The aging man. doi.org/10.1080/13685538.2020.1807930.