Encountering COVID-19 as Endocrinologists

Endocrinol Metab (Seoul). 2020 Apr 23;35(2):197-205. doi: 10.3803/EnM.2020.35.2.197. Print 2020 Jun.


The world is entering an era of disaster and chaos due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Since its first emergence in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, COVID-19 has swept through Asia and propagated throughout the world to Europe and North America. As of April 13, 1,773,084 people were infected and 111,652 people had died from COVID-19 globally, and new record levels of infection are being reported every day. Based on the data that have been amassed so far, the primary risk factors for a severe disease course or even mortality from COVID-19 are underlying diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. As the global prevalence of diabetes continues to increase, patients with endocrine diseases such as diabetes mellitus and those who are on long-term corticosteroid therapy due to adrenal insufficiency or hypopituitarism are at risk for a poor prognosis of COVID-19. As endocrinologists, we would like to briefly review the current knowledge about the relationship between COVID-19 and endocrine diseases and to discuss what we can do for the safety and health of our patients with endocrine diseases in this globally threatening situation.

Keywords: Adrenal insufficiency; COVID-19; Diabetes mellitus; Endocrine system diseases; Endocrinologists; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Endocrine System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Endocrine System Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Endocrine System Diseases / metabolism*
  • Endocrinologists / trends*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / metabolism*
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2