June 02, 2020
2 min read

Top endocrinology news in May: COVID-19, weight loss strategies, work hours and thyroid

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In May, Healio readers were interested in sex hormones being investigated for treating COVID-19, greater COVID-19 complications for patients with diabetes and obesity, associations between thyroid dysfunction and working hours, and more.

Study investigates estrogen patch use to lessen COVID-19 complications

As researchers continue to assess complications of COVID-19, one striking difference has become clear — men who contract the novel coronavirus are more likely to be intubated or die compared with women. READ

Study examines progesterone to reduce inflammation in COVID-19

Of the many complications reported to accompany COVID-19, one of the most vexing to researchers has been the “cytokine storm,” or the body’s overactive immune response to a viral infection. Researchers are searching for possible therapies that may inhibit inflammation, such as the sex hormone progesterone. READ

10% of people with diabetes, COVID-19 die within 7 days of hospital admission

The first large study assessing outcomes among people with diabetes hospitalized for COVID-19 shows that 10% of patients died and 20.3% required intubation for mechanical ventilation within 7 days of admission. READ

Obesity triples odds of more severe symptoms with COVID-19

In two cohorts of Chinese adults with COVID-19, those with obesity were at least three times more likely to have a severe case of the disease than those with normal weight, according to two studies published in Diabetes Care. READ

Wearing heavyweight vest reduces fat mass, body weight among adults with obesity

Adults with obesity who wore a heavyweight vest — corresponding to 11% of their body weight — daily for 3 weeks experienced a reduction in body weight and fat mass compared with similar adults who wore a 1% lightweight vest, according to data from a proof-of-concept study. READ

'Obesity should not be dismissed': Excess weight drives inflammation, hypoventilation behind COVID-19 complications

New data on underlying conditions among people hospitalized with COVID-19 reveal that the novel coronavirus is disproportionately affecting people with obesity, who are far more likely to experience severe complications compared with people without excess weight. READ

Smaller dinner, bigger breakfast may reduce risks for death from diabetes, CVD

People with diabetes who ate more at dinner compared with breakfast had greater risks for death from diabetes and cardiovascular disease; however, a model suggests replacing 5% of total energy intake at dinner with breakfast can reduce mortality risks. READ


Filling prescriptions becomes easier for some, harder for others during COVID-19

As part of an increased reliance on telemedicine to deliver care during the COVID-19 pandemic, providers are also prescribing more medications virtually. Prior regulations, which required an established patient-provider relationship to prescribe some medications online, have been temporarily suspended to meet the needs of the public health emergency. READ

More hypothyroidism seen among adults with longer workweeks

Hypothyroidism was more than 2.5 times more prevalent among Korean adults who worked between 53 and 83 hours per week than those who worked between 36 and 42 hours per week. Additionally, those who worked longer hours increased their likelihood for hypothyroidism by 46% for each additional 10 hours they worked per week. READ

The future of insulin: Pills, patches, weekly formulation could change diabetes management

Several cutting-edge advancements in noninjectable insulin delivery methods could offer new ways for people with diabetes to manage the disease and better control glucose response. New research from a phase 2b study suggests that an oral insulin formulation is now closer than ever before to becoming reality, and a coin-sized “smart” insulin patch has shown promise in recent animal studies. READ