21:16 05.06.2020(updated 21:18 05.06.2020) Short url
Research showing that the rate of bald men among patients with Covid-19 is high, scientists link the hormone androgen to the body’s ability to resist it. They therefore suggest that treatment aimed at suppressing these hormones may prove to be effective, a hypothesis which still needs proof.
Bald men may be more at risk for severe forms of Covid-19, suggest new studies. The statistical link is so strong that some scientists have already baptized it “Gabrin sign” in honor of the first doctor who died of Covid-19 in the United States, Frank Gabrin, who was also bald.
“We really believe that baldness is a perfect indicator of severity,” Professor Carlos Wambier of Brown University said in his comment to the Telegraph.
Androgenic hormones implicated
Scientists point to a link between male androgen hormones, on which baldness often depends, and the body’s ability to fight the virus.
“We believe that androgens or male hormones are definitely the gateway to the virus in our cells,” said Professor Wambier.
This suggests that treatment to suppress these hormones – prescribed for baldness and diseases like prostate cancer – could be used to stop the virus and give the patient time to fight it.
Two studies led by Wambier were published earlier in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. One found that 79% of men with Covid-19 hospitalized in three Madrid hospitals were bald. It involved 122 patients. The average age of the patients was 62.5 years.
Another study, involving 41 Spanish hospital patients, found the rate to be 71%.
However, other experts are calling for this information to be taken with caution. Karen Stalbow, head of Prostate Cancer UK, told the newspaper that “much more evidence is needed” before this type of medicine can be used to treat patients with coronavirus.