Objective: To evaluate the effect of female sex hormones on the clinical outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 patients using national claims data.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study used the Health Insurance Review and Assessment data of 5,061 adult patients with laboratory-confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 in South Korea from January 20 to April 8, 2020. To evaluate the effect of hormone therapy on clinical outcomes among women, subgroup analyses using age-matched case-control data were performed.
Results: Coronavirus disease 2019 was most prevalent in women in the 20-39 years age group (1,250 [44.14%]). Men were more likely to receive oxygen therapy (144 [6.46%] vs 131 [4.63%], P = 0.004), be admitted to the intensive care unit (60 [2.69%] vs 53 [1.87%], P = 0.049), and have a longer length of stay after admission to the intensive care unit (19.70 ± 11.80 vs 14.75 ± 9.23, P = 0.016). However, there was no significant difference in the mortality rate (men vs women: 42 [1.88%] vs 42 [1.48%], P = 0.267). In the multivariable Cox analysis, older age and underlying comorbidities, but not sex, were independent risk factors for mortality. Hormone therapy was not significantly associated with clinical outcomes.
Conclusions: This study, using nationwide data, suggests that female sex hormones are not associated with the morbidity and clinical outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 in South Korea.