Sex-Specific Total Testosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate Status in Noncritically Ill Hospitalized Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Cross-Sectional Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Endocrinology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

2 Kurmitola General Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh

3 Department of Medicine, Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh

4 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

5 Department of Internal Medicine, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh


Background: In individuals with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), male subjects have consistently been
linked to poor severity and prognosis. Data on sex hormones in non-critical COVID-19-infected patients are scarce.
The aim of this study was to assess the status of total testosterone (TT) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS)
among noncritical patients with COVID-19 according to sex and their associations with clinical and biochemical
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional observational study was done in the COVID-19 unit of a University
hospital during the period of September 2021 to February 2022 among 91 adults (18-65 years) with reverse transcriptase-
polymerase chain reaction confirmed noncritical COVID-19 patients. Blood was drawn by venipuncture
before receiving steroids between 07:00 to 09:00 a.m. in a fasting state to measure serum TT and DHEAS by chemiluminescent
microparticle immunoassay. Diagnosis and classification of COVID-19 were done according to World
Health Organization’s interim guidance. Age- and sex-specific laboratory reference values were used to classify the
TT and DHEAS status of the patients.
Results: Only three males (8.1%) had low TT and the rest had normal TT. On the other hand, 15 (27.8%) of the females
had high TT with normal levels in the rest. Similarly, 11 (29.7%) males had low DHEAS. Females had low, normal,
and high DHEAS in four (7.4%), 48 (88.9%), and two (3.7%) cases respectively. Males with moderate severity of
COVID-19 had significantly lower DHEAS (post hoc P=0.038) than the mild group. Both TT (P=0.008) and DHEAS
(P=0.023) significantly correlated with neutrophils/lymphocytes ratio and only DHEAS with platelets/lymphocytes
ratio (P=0.044) in males. In females, TT significantly correlated with serum sodium (P=0.034).
Conclusion: In noncritical COVID-19 patients, substantial gender variations in TT and DHEAS were detected and
correlated with severity markers in males.


Main Subjects


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