A simple lab test may help health care workers predict the severity of SARS in hospitalized patients.
A simple lab test may help health care workers predict the severity of SARS in hospitalized patients.

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A simple lab test may help health care workers predict the severity of SARS in hospitalized patients.

A new study suggests that COVID-19 patients with high cortisol levels when they’re admitted to the hospital have a greater risk of dying.

Cortisol is one of the steroids that the body makes. It helps regulate metabolism and the immune system. Cortisol rises when the body is under stress.

If the amount of cortisol in a person’s body doubled, the risk of death went up by 40%, researchers found.

From March 9 to April 22, the researchers had studied 535 patients who were admitted at three London teaching hospitals.

The authors wrote, “We found that high cortisol concentrations were associated with increased mortality and a reduced median survival, probably because this is a marker of the severity of illness.”

The study, “Association between high serum total cortisol concentrations and mortality from COVID-19,” was published in the June 18 edition of The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

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