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OBJECTIVE: Endocrine systems are disrupted in acute illness, and symptoms reported following coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are similar to those found with clinical hormone deficiencies. We hypothesised that people with severe acute COVID-19 and with post-COVID symptoms have glucocorticoid and sex hormone deficiencies. DESIGN/PATIENTS: Samples were obtained for analysis from two UK multicentre cohorts during hospitalisation with COVID-19 (International Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Consortium/World Health Organisation [WHO] Clinical Characterization Protocol for Severe Emerging Infections in the UK study), and at follow-up 5 months after hospitalisation (Post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study). MEASUREMENTS: Plasma steroids were quantified by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Steroid concentrations were compared against disease severity (WHO ordinal scale) and validated symptom scores. Data are presented as geometric mean (SD). RESULTS: In the acute cohort (n = 239, 66.5% male), plasma cortisol concentration increased with disease severity (cortisol 753.3 [1.6] vs. 429.2 [1.7] nmol/L in fatal vs. least severe, p 

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Endocrinol (Oxf)

Publication Date





317 - 327


COVID 19, adrenal, cortisol, long COVID, testosterone, Humans, Male, Female, COVID-19, Hydrocortisone, Acute Disease, Aftercare, Patient Discharge, Glucocorticoids, Steroids, Patient Acuity, Testosterone