With statistics that saw more men than women dying from COVID-19, doctors are under the presumption that female hormones might be key to combatting the infection for males.
According to Dr. Sara Ghandehari, a pulmonologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, 75% of patients placed in the hospital’s ICU for COVID-19 are males.
The notion is further corroborated by NPR that reported that men are dying at twice the rate than their women counterparts in New York City. The data was based on statistics gathered as of April this year.
Higher in Quantity in Women than Men
Although predominantly female hormones, estrogen, and progesterone are also found in males endogenously. Scientists are even aware of the importance of these said hormones in tissue repair and immunity support among men. Two essential health components needed to combat the ravaging effects of COVID-19.
Having higher quantities of estrogen and progesterone in their bodies, females are inferred to have better resistance against COVID-19 than males.
Researchers from China, Cedars-Sinai, and Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University are going to study the potential role of hormones in treating the infection.
In an interview by the New York Times, Dr. Sharon Nachman of Stony Brook University claims that the idea behind the concept is not clear yet.
But to truly understand the concept, researchers at Stony Brook University are conducting studies over 110 presumed COVID-19 subjects, as per ClinicalTrials.gov. Meaning, individuals who ‘display symptoms attributable to the infection,’ but not necessarily require intensive care.
The research encourages individuals to apply a subject for the study. Preferably, men who are at the ages of 18 and up and women above the age of 55. The age requirement makes for an important factor as it concerns the body’s state of hormonal production.
Once conducted, the participants are going to be subject to a case-control study and will be divided into two groups. One who will be receiving an Estradiol patch that will supply the body with exogenous estrogen. And another group not having the patch.
On the other hand, researchers at Cedars-Sinai are going to conduct a trial involving 40 male subjects diagnosed with a moderate case of COVID-19. Half of which will become a controlled subject and will receive two shots of progesterone daily. The administration of the hormone will last five days. The other half will not receive any.
The current understanding of progesterone suggests its potential against inflammation. If proven effective, it could possibly lead to a solution that addresses the issue against the COVID-19-induced ‘cytokine storm.’