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    A second update on mapping the human genetic architecture of COVID-19

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    Low levels of endogenous anabolic androgenic steroids in females with severe asthma taking corticosteroids

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    Rationale Patients with severe asthma are dependent upon treatment with high doses of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and often also oral corticosteroids (OCS). The extent of endogenous androgenic anabolic steroid (EAAS) suppression in asthma has not previously been described in detail. The objective of the present study was to measure urinary concentrations of EAAS in relation to exogenous corticosteroid exposure. Methods Urine collected at baseline in the U-BIOPRED (Unbiased Biomarkers for the Prediction of Respiratory Disease outcomes) study of severe adult asthmatics (SA, n=408) was analysed by quantitative mass spectrometry. Data were compared to that of mild-to-moderate asthmatics (MMA, n=70) and healthy subjects (HC, n=98) from the same study. Measurements and main results The concentrations of urinary endogenous steroid metabolites were substantially lower in SA than in MMA or HC. These differences were more pronounced in SA patients with detectable urinary OCS metabolites. Their dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) concentrations were <5% of those in HC, and cortisol concentrations were below the detection limit in 75% of females and 82% of males. The concentrations of EAAS in OCS-positive patients, as well as patients on high-dose ICS only, were more suppressed in females than males (p<0.05). Low levels of DHEA were associated with features of more severe disease and were more prevalent in females (p<0.05). The association between low EAAS and corticosteroid treatment was replicated in 289 of the SA patients at follow-up after 12‚Äď18‚ÄÖmonths. Conclusion The pronounced suppression of endogenous anabolic androgens in females might contribute to sex differences regarding the prevalence of severe asthma

    Intraperitoneal drain placement and outcomes after elective colorectal surgery: international matched, prospective, cohort study