Are women really the superior species? American scientists think so and they’re looking to give COVID-19 patients female hormones as treatment in an effort to boost their immune systems.
The New York Times (NYT) reported on Apr. 27 that doctors in Long Island have started treating male patients with estrogen last week. Physicians in Los Angeles will soon start treating patients with progesterone, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and could “potentially prevent harmful overreactions of the immune system.”
The Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University is currently recruiting 110 patients who come to the hospital’s emergency room for the estrogen trials. This will be open to adult men and women aged 55 and older. Participants will be given an estradiol patch for a week and researchers will observe if the treatment would reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms like fever and pneumonia.
Pulmonologist Dr. Sara Ghandehari from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center told NYT that 75 percent of the patients in their hospital’s intensive care unit are men, most of them on ventilators. Immunocompromised pregnant women are said to have milder symptoms because they have high levels of estrogen and progesterone. “So something about being a woman is protective, and something about pregnancy is protective, and that makes us think about hormones,” said Dr. Ghandehari.
Data from New York City Health showed that 61.8 percent (4,095) of deaths in the state are male, while 38.2 percent (2,530) are female. Likewise, Worldometers cited data from China, which used to be the epicenter of the pandemic, showing that the death rate among confirmed cases are made up of 4.7 percent male and 2.8 percent female.
According to a Global Health 50/50 study on global COVID-19 cases, men seem to be more likely to be infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus and among the confirmed cases, they are “consistently dying at a higher rate across countries where data is available.” It also noted that a person’s sex may play a significant role in understanding the risk factors of each case.
Only time can tell if this hormone treatment would work on male COVID-19 patients. In terms of side effects, men might experience tenderness in their breasts and hot flashes. You know, normal stuff that us women go through.The New York Times]
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