Outcome of COVID-19 infections in patients with adrenal insufficiency and excess


Information on clinical outcomes of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) infection in patients with adrenal disorders is scarce.


A collaboration between the European Society of Endocrinology (ESE) Rare Disease Committee and European Reference Network on Rare Endocrine Conditions via the European Registries for Rare Endocrine Conditions allowed the collection of data on 64 cases (57 adrenal insufficiency (AI), 7 Cushing’s syndrome) that had been reported by 12 centres in 8 European countries between January 2020 and December 2021.


Of all 64 patients, 23 were males and 41 females (13 of those children) with a median age of 37 and 51 years. In 45/57 (95%) AI cases, COVID-19 infection was confirmed by testing. Primary insufficiency was present in 45/57 patients; 19 were affected by Addison’s disease, 19 by congenital adrenal hyperplasia and 7 by primary AI (PAI) due to other causes. The most relevant comorbidities were hypertension (12%), obesity (n = 14%) and diabetes mellitus (9%). An increase by a median of 2.0 (IQR 1.4) times the daily replacement dose was reported in 42 (74%) patients. Two patients were administered i.m. injection of 100 mg hydrocortisone, and 11/64 were admitted to the hospital. Two patients had to be transferred to the intensive care unit, one with a fatal outcome. Four patients reported persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection, all others complete remission.


This European multicentre questionnaire is the first to collect data on the outcome of COVID-19 infection in patients with adrenal gland disorders. It suggests good clinical outcomes in case of duly dose adjustments and emphasizes the importance of patient education on sick day rules.

Overview publication

TitleOutcome of COVID-19 infections in patients with adrenal insufficiency and excess
DateJanuary 30th, 2023
Issue nameEndocrine Connections
Issue numberv12.4
AuthorsNowotny HF, Bryce J, Ali SR, Giordano R, Baronio F, Chifu I, Tschaidse L, Cools M, van den Akker EL, Falhammar H, Appelman-Dijkstra NM, Persani L, Beccuti G, Ross IL, Grozinsky-Glasberg S, Pereira AM, Husebye ES, Hahner S, Faisal Ahmed S & Reisch N
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