Data from a study of hospitalised patients suggest that COVID-19 might affect testosterone levels in men.
Published in the journal The Aging Male, the study found that as men's testosterone levels decreased, the probability of them being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) significantly increased.
The research team looked at a total of 438 patients, including 232 males with laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2. The cohort was divided into three groups: asymptomatic patients (n=46), symptomatic patients hospitalised in an internal medicine unit (n=129), and patients hospitalised in the ICU (n=46).
In patients with pre-COVID-19 serum gonadal hormones test measurements (n=24), serum total testosterone levels significantly decreased from a pre-COVID-19 level of 458 ± 198 ng/dl to 315 ± 120 ng/dl at the time of COVID-19 (P=.003).
Death was observed in 11 of the male adult patients (4.97%) and seven of the female patients (3.55%), revealing no significance between the two genders (P>.05).
Commenting on the results, lead author Prof Selahittin Çayan said: "It could be recommended that at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis, testosterone levels are also tested. In men with low levels of sex hormones who test positive for COVID-19, testosterone treatment could improve their prognosis.” More research is needed, he said.