Men are at higher risk of severe Covid-19 infection and death. Researchers tell why

Several research up to now have claimed the lads have been at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 and die because of the infection as in comparison with girls. Supporting the earlier findings, a latest examine, performed by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri, point out that low testosterone ranges may be chargeable for “increased disease severity” amongst males.

The study was published in the journal JAMA Network Open on Tuesday.

In the examine, researchers established a hyperlink between the severity of Covid-19 illness and low ranges of testosterone in males.

“During the pandemic, there has been a prevailing notion that testosterone is bad,” The Print quoted Abhinav Diwan, a professor of drugs at the college, as saying in an announcement.

But we found the opposite in men. If a man had low testosterone when he first came to the hospital, his risk of having severe Covid-19 — meaning his risk of requiring intensive care or dying — was much higher compared with men who had more circulating testosterone. And if testosterone levels dropped further during hospitalisation, the risk increased,” Diwan mentioned.


Researchers measured a number of hormones in blood samples from 152 folks — 90 males and 62 girls — who got here to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St Louis with signs of Covid-19 or confirmed instances of the infection. Of these, 143 have been hospitalised.

The researchers measured hormone ranges (Testosterone, estradiol, and IGF-1 concentrations) at the time of arrival (i.e Day 0) and on days 3, 7, 14, and 28 after admission (if the affected person remained hospitalised). Thirty-seven sufferers, together with 25 males, died over the course of the examine.


It was discovered that solely testosterone ranges have been linked to Covid-19 severity in males. Of the 90 males, 84 have been hospitalised and amongst them, 66 had severe Covid-19, the examine revealed.

Of 66 men with severe Covid-19, 31 men presented with severe disease to the hospital, while 35 men developed severe disease during their hospital stay after a median (IQR) of 2 (1-3) days,” the examine mentioned.

Men who required ICU admission or artificial ventilation or who died had lower testosterone concentrations than men who did not have these outcomes,” it concluded.

Male sex is a risk factor for developing severe Covid-19 illness. It is just not recognized whether or not intercourse hormones contribute to this predisposition,” the examine mentioned.

“These findings suggest that low testosterone concentrations may play a mechanistic role in worse outcomes observed in men with Covid-19, underscoring the need for clinical trials to test this hypothesis,” it mentioned.

The group additionally discovered that decrease testosterone ranges in males correlate with higher ranges of irritation.

“…Lower testosterone concentrations during hospitalisations were associated with increased disease severity and inflammation in men,” revealed the examine.

Testosterone concentrations in males decline constantly by 1 per cent to 2 per cent per 12 months after 30 years.


Researchers additionally talked about different risk components that have been prone to improve the risk of severe Covid-19 amongst males.

“In addition, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and many chronic illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes, renal insufficiency, and chronic lung disease, are associated with lower serum testosterone concentrations in men,” they mentioned.

A study published in Nature Communication in December 2020, said, “…the male sex hormone testosterone suppresses the immune system.”

It additional mentioned that age-related modifications within the immune system have been additionally totally different between sexes and there was a marked affiliation between morbidity/mortality and superior age in Covid-19.

“Gender differences in hygiene behaviours and testing are unlikely to explain the sex disparity in disease severity,” it mentioned whereas highlighting causes why males have been extra vulnerable to severe Covid-19 infection.

Meanwhile, a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, “Men and women differ in both innate and adaptive immune responses, perhaps related in part to sex-specific inflammatory responses resulting from X-chromosomal inheritance.”

“The X chromosome contains a high density of immune-related genes; therefore, women generally mount stronger innate and adaptive immune responses than men,” it mentioned.

Several research hypothesised that oestrogen in all probability helped shield girls from Covid-19. Therefore, some medical trials have been additionally launched to check if oestrogen remedy might assist deal with Covid sufferers.

However, the St Louis examine means that for males, low testosterone ranges may be linked to extra severe Covid-19 infection. Hence, the researchers have cautioned males in opposition to ongoing medical trials that are investigating hormonal therapies.

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