COVID-19 patients experiencing elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood are more likely to die according to researchers. This provides firsthand information which shows the cortisol levels as a marker of the severity of the illness
Researchers suggested that the data can be used to identify patients who are more likely to be in a serious condition and in need of intensive treatment. The level of cortisol produced is in response to the stress, triggering changes in metabolism, immune system to cope with the changes, and the functioning of the heart.
Our cortisol levels when resting and healthy are 100-200 nm/L and about zero when we rest. When sick patients have low levels of cortisol, it leads to an increased risk of infection and can be life-threatening. As indicated by the analysts, excessive levels of cortisol during sickness can be equally dangerous and increases the level of infection.
In the new observational investigation of 535 patients, of whom 403 were affirmed to have COVID-19, cortisol levels in patients with COVID-19 were significantly higher than in those without. The levels in the COVID-19 were as high as 3241 - higher even after a significant medical procedure, when levels can top 1000.
Among the COVID-19 patients, those with a standard cortisol level of 744 or less survived on an average for 36 days. Patients with levels of more than 744 had a normal survival day of only 15 days. Patients who are very sick will have high levels of cortisol, making them very vulnerable to death. Information on the patient's level of deterioration will help provide the best possible care ASAP.
What's more, he said clinical experts can likewise consider cortisol levels when we are figuring out how best a patient can be treated.
In the examination, the COVID-19 swab test and routine blood tests - including a baseline estimation of cortisol levels - were performed inside 48 hours of patients getting admitted.
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