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Covid-19 may cause fall in men’s testosterone levels: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 30, 2020

Says this further increases the possibility of intensive care unit admission

 

Researchers who carried a major study on hospitalised patients due to Covid-19 found that the infection causes depletion of men’s testosterone levels.

This further increases the possibility of intensive care unit (ICU) admission, as per the study published in the journal Aging Male.

Earlier studies showed that low testosterone levels could be a cause for poor prognosis following a positive SARS-CoV-2 test.

Study author Selahittin Cayan, from the University of Mersin in Turkey, said in an official release: “Testosterone is associated with the immune system of respiratory organs, and low levels of testosterone might increase the risk of respiratory infections.”

“Low testosterone is also associated with infection-related hospitalisation and all-cause mortality in males in ICU patients, so testosterone treatment may also have benefits beyond improving outcomes for Covid-19,” Cayan added.

Methodology

For the study, the team of researchers examined a total of 438 patients. This included 232 males, each with laboratory-confirmed coronavirus.

Also read The long Covid

Researchers monitored the detailed clinical history of patients and took their physical examination. They also performed laboratory and radiological imaging studies in every patient.

The cohort study was divided into three groups: asymptomatic patients (46), symptomatic patients who were hospitalised in the internal medicine unit (IMU) (29), and patients who were hospitalised in the intensive care unit (ICU) (46).

Results

The study revealed that the mean total testosterone decreased, as the severity of the Covid-19 increased. The mean total testosterone level was significantly lower in the ICU group than in the asymptomatic group.

“We found Hypogonadism, a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone, in 51.1 per cent of the male patients,” Cayan said.

“The patients who died had significantly lower mean total testosterone than the patients who were alive. However, even 65.2 per cent of the 46 male patients who were asymptomatic had a loss of libido,” Cayan added.

The authors concluded that future studies should look at the concentration levels of ACE2 (Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) – an enzyme attached to the cell membranes of cells located in the intestines – and its link with the total testosterone levels.

Published on September 30, 2020

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