High cortisol levels make COVID-19 more severe for some

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ST. LOUIS – High levels of the stress hormone cortisol could be making COVID-19 cases more severe for some patients.

New research suggests that high levels of cortisol are associated with a greater risk of death in coronavirus patients.

In addition to its role in regulating our body’s fight-or-flight response in stressful situations, cortisol helps with other bodily functions. Those include metabolism, blood pressure, salt and water balance, and a healthy immune system.

Scientists say high levels of the hormone can alter immune system function and increase the risk of infection and serious illness.

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