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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deteriorates suddenly primarily due to excessive inflammatory injury, and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is implicated in endocrine control of the immune system. However, the effect of IGF-1 levels on COVID-19 prognosis remains unknown. Using UK Biobank resource, we investigated the association between circulating IGF-1 concentrations and mortality risk (available death data updated on 07 Sep 2020) among COVID-19 patients who had pre-diagnostic serum IGF-1 measurements at baseline (2006-2010). Unconditional logistic regression was performed to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of mortality. Among 1670 COVID-19 patients, 415 deaths occurred due to COVID-19. Compared to the lowest quartile of IGF-1 concentrations, the highest quartile was associated with a 41% lower risk of mortality (OR = 0.59, 95% CI 0.41-0.86, P-trend = 0.01). In the continuous model, per 1-standard deviation increment in log-transformed IGF-1 was associated with a 15% reduction in the risk (intraclass correlation coefficients corrected OR = 0.85, 95% CI 0.73-0.99). The association was largely consistent in the various stratified and sensitivity analyses. In conclusion, our data suggest that higher IGF-1 concentrations are associated with a lower risk of COVID-19 mortality. Further studies are required to determine whether and how targeting IGF-1 pathway might improve COVID-19 prognosis.