Paul Stewart, MD: Endocrinology, Diabetes, and COVID-19


Discussing the impact of the ongoing outbreak on endocrinology practices and endocrinologists with the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health at University of Leeds.

While coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has the world holding its collective breath until the pandemic has subsided, the rapid dissemination of information that has come about as the result of the outbreak has proven to be invaluable to clinicians.

Every day, clinicians and researchers are learning more about COVID-19, the symptoms, who it impacts, and the mechanism behind its devastating impact. Some of the most recent information to be released includes an editorial in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism warning individuals taking glucocorticoids may be at an increased risk of becoming infected and having a more severe case of COVID-19.

The editorial, which is 9 paragraphs in length, details multiple patient populations endocrinologists are expressing additional concern for during the outbreak. Authors write patients taking these medications may not only be more susceptible but may also experience a more severe form of the disease once infected due to the impact of the medications on their own steroid response to infection. Authors suggest injectable supplemental glucocorticoid therapy in this setting to reverse the risk of fatal adrenal failure—noting this should be considered in every case.

The literature also touches upon what is sometimes perceived as an increased risk among diabetics seen in some research. For more on how endocrinologists are handling the COVID-19 outbreak, what patient populations are most at risk, and what the long-term impact of the pandemic on endocrinology, we sat down with Paul Stewart, MD, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health at University of Leeds and editor in chief of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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