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Striking Drop in Stress Hormone Predicts Long Covid in Study

  • Cortisol could be used with other biomarkers for diagnosis
  • Research identifies three potential causes of chronic symptoms
Cell nuclei (blue) being infected by SARS-CoV-2 (red areas), the virus.

Cell nuclei (blue) being infected by SARS-CoV-2 (red areas), the virus.

Photographer: Jane Barlow/PA Images

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Striking decreases in the stress hormone cortisol were the strongest predictor for who develops long Covid in new research that identified several potential drivers of the lingering symptoms afflicting millions of survivors.

Levels of cortisol in the blood of those with the so-called post Covid-19 condition were roughly half those found in healthy, uninfected people or individuals who fully recovered from the pandemic disease, researchers at Yale School of Medicine in Connecticut and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York found.