As the number of Coronavirus increases, studies as to the disease’s demographics also increases. One prevailing fact that came from two recent reports of COVID-19 patients showed that a higher percentage of men were infected (56.9 percent). It is very visible from the patients’ data that males are more commonly affected, more probably to be hospitalized, and more probably to be admitted to the intensive care unit or ICU. In the United Kingdom, it is also evident that men are more likely to need respiratory support when admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19. There is even a study that showed men are 3 times more likely to die from Coronavirus than women.
This proportion difference in gender susceptivity raises an essential question over whether being male can lead to a higher infection risk or whether being female can contribute some degree of protection. A recent study before the latest pandemic exploded suggested that the latter is probably true. Simply put, it is becoming more apparent that gender is an essential factor in the infection response and that estrogen appears to have a shielding effect on the immune system. As a matter of fact, there were observations made that for all other cancers outside of the reproductive system, the risk in malignancies in males is higher by two-folds.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, results from studies showed that the predominance and intensity of viral infections usually are higher in males than females. Animal testing also demonstrated that men are more susceptive to SARS-CoV or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.
Another study findings narrate that estrogen lowers influenza virus replication in the nasal epithelial cells of human females. While a report from China states that 92% of 118 pregnant women who were tested positive for Coronavirus only had mild symptoms. Moreover, all of the women included in the study were discharged, even those 8% who had severe symptoms.
In the US, most of the front-liners like nurses, nursing assistants, pharmacists, fast-food counters, and grocery store employees are women. The findings that suggest estrogen provides some degree of resistance against COVID-10 is reassuring for them.
As of this writing, some researchers are studying short-term estrogen hormone therapy as a treatment to COVID-19. The study is trying to validate the claims that estrogen therapy can prevent cytokine storms and lessen severe symptoms from the epidemic. If this is proven, many estrogen replacement medications and supplements like Esrosmart product for estrogen and other oral pills may help fight and control the pandemic.
Estrogen’s effects on immune responses can vary depending on the disease itself. There is no definite answer yet whether estrogen is beneficial or not for COVID-19. It might also depend on the patient’s own immune system, overall health, and other contributing factors.
More detailed analyses are still required to evaluate and confirm estrogen’s capabilities to protect humans from Coronavirus. If later verified, it will be added to the already validated benefits of this female hormone, such as lowering the risks of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as osteoporotic hip fractures.