New clue about why Covid is deadlier for men: Estrogen may play a protective role

It's one of the pandemic's prolonged mysteries: Why have men died of Covid at higher rates than women?

 Covid's fatality rate for men was 1.7 times higher, on average, than the rate for women across 38 countries, a 2020 study found. More recent research from Harvard University scientists found that although men represented 49 percent of Covid cases in the U.S., they accounted for 55 percent of Covid deaths from April 2020 through May 2021.
For the study, published in the journal Family Practice, U.K., researchers compared women in England who had received hormone replacement therapy — which helps restore estrogen levels during menopause — within six months of a Covid diagnosis to those who did not. The results showed that the first group had a 78 percent lower mortality rate from all causes of death than the second group.
In total, the study involved more than 5,400 women, most of whom were white and of menopausal age (around 59, on average). The researchers controlled for socioeconomic status and pre-existing health problems.
"This is adding to the body of evidence of why, particularly early in the pandemic, we were seeing really different clinical outcomes for women relative to men," said Anita Raj, a professor of infectious diseases and global public health at the University of California, San Diego, who was not involved in the research.
Although the relative homogeneity of the study is a limitation, she added, its conclusion still "seems to be aligned with the notion that it's estrogen specifically that's producing the protective effect."

Release date : 2022/05/24
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