Scientists from Wake Forest School of Medicine conducted a study to determine why men are at greater risk of more severe COVID-19 outcomes than women, regardless of age. According to an ANI report, the researchers examined pre-clinical data on sex-specific hormone activity for the study, which was published in the journal Current Hypertension Reports.
“We know that coronavirus affects the heart and we know that estrogen is protective against cardiovascular diseases in women, so the most likely explanation seemed to be hormonal differences between the sexes.”Leanne Groban, M.D., Professor of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest School of Medicine
Research has suggested that the angiotensin-converting enzyme2 (ACE2), which is found on the cell membranes of the kidneys, heart, arteries and intestines, is the cellular receptor for the coronavirus and allows its entry into these organ systems.
The review indicated that estrogen lowers the ACE2 level in the heart, which may account for the drop in severity of the viral infection for women.
“We hope that our review regarding the role of estrogenic 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.”Leanne Groban, M.D., Professor of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest School of Medicine
(With inputs from ANI)