Estrogen May Play a Role in Covid-19 Symptom Severity

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Recent evidence from the latest clinical trials suggest that more a more intense infection of Covid-19 is prominent in men.  In a study published back in August of this year, it was theorized that Estrogen may lessen the severity of symptoms from the disease for women.

Leanne Groban, M.D., professor of anesthesiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Health said, “We know that coronavirus affects the heart and we know that estrogen is protective against cardiovascular disease in women, so the most likely explanation seemed to be hormonal differences between the sexes.”

It is important to note that the data and sample size for the study are small, so generalizations should not be made at this stage, but researchers believe the evidence for sex-based differences in these clinical outcomes is cause for assessments of sex specific hormone activity in regards to Covid-19 testing.

In the study they found that angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is attached to the heart, arteries, kidneys, and intestines, helps the virus gain access to the cells in those systems.  They also note that estrogen lowered the levels of this enzyme.  The researchers believe this might be why women have less severe symptoms of coronavirus than men.

Groban said, “We hope that our review regarding the role of estrogenic hormones in ACE2 expression and regulation may explain the gender differences in COVID-19 infection and outcomes and serve as a guide for current treatment and the development of new therapies.”

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