A study published by the Euric Alert scientific site was presented virtually during the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.
Adrenal insufficiency is defined as “a disorder that occurs when the adrenal glands, located directly above the kidneys, do not make enough of the hormone cortisol.”
Adrenal insufficiency is also called “Addison’s disease.”
Cortisol, known as the “stress hormone”, helps break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It also controls blood pressure and affects the immune system.
Children with adrenal insufficiency are treated with daily replacement doses of the hormone cortisol, and they need more doses when sick.
“Adrenal insufficiency may put a person at risk of infection due to the body not responding to normal stress, and so far we have limited data on children suffering from adrenal insufficiency and corona,” said study co-lead author Manish Rasengani from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
The researchers used an international database on children with corona up to the age of 18, and the study included 846 children with adrenal insufficiency and more than 250,000 children without adrenal diseases.
The data showed that the death rate is much higher among children with adrenal insufficiency, compared to children without the condition.
“This study shows that it is important to take additional precautions to prevent and treat corona infection in children with adrenal insufficiency,” said Racingani.