Why Has COVID-19 Caused More Deaths in Men than Women? SARS-CoV-2’s Ability to Reduce Testosterone Levels Could Be One of the Reasons, Says New Turkish Study

COVID-19 has caused more deaths in men than women the world and researchers have been trying to find a link. A recent study by Turkish researches has found that it is probably SARS-CoV-2’s ability to reduce testosterone levels in men’s body that maa new study has found.

September 30, 2020

Lifestyle

2 min

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COVID-19 has caused more deaths in men than women the world and researchers have been trying to find a link. A recent study by Turkish researches has found that it is probably SARS-CoV-2’s ability to reduce testosterone levels in men’s body that maa new study has found. While low testosterone levels are associated with poor outcomes in Covid patients, this is the first study that proffers the theory that it may be the infection that is causing the levels of the male sex hormone to deplete.

“For the first time, our data suggest that Covid-19 might deteriorate serum testosterone level in SARS-CoV-2 infected male patients. Low serum total testosterone level at baseline has a significant increased risk for the ICU and mortality in patients with Covid-19,” researchers from University of Mersin, and the Mersin City Education and Research Hospital in Turkey, reported in The Aging Male journal.

The study was published earlier this month. “Future studies related to testosterone treatment in this population would discover possible improvement in clinical outcomes with the testosterone treatment in SARS-CoV-2 infected hypogonadal male patients,” they added. Testosterone is the principal male sex hormone, and decreases on an average by 0.8–2 per cent a year after the age of 40 years. This would also explain the worse outcomes in older men.

Lead author Selahittin Çayan, professor of urology, explained: “Testosterone is associated with the immune system of respiratory organs, and low levels of testosterone might increase the risk of respiratory infections.” The professor added: “Low testosterone is also associated with infection-related hospitalisation and all-cause mortality in male in ICU patients. So testosterone treatment may also have benefits beyond improving outcomes for Covid-19.” In India, about 69 per cent of Covid deaths have been among males.

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