Female hormones and the X chromosome alleviate the course of the disease «kleinezeitung.at

Initial study results provide information on why Covid 19 disease tends to be milder in women and less likely to lead to hospitalization or death than in men.

07:52, November 29, 2020

© WHAT (dpa)

Bettina Toth, Clinic Director at the Innsbruck University Clinic for Gynecological Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine, referred in the APA conversation to international studies that the positive effect of female hormones and the X chromosome occupy.

Gender differences are significant not only before menopause, but also in 71- to 83-year-old patients. This also affects hormone replacement therapies, which are used by women with menopausal symptoms, said Toth. Different studies would suggest that “female hormones related to coronavirus are something totally positive”.

Clear differences

Studies would show that “in diseases induced by SARS-Cov, MERS or Covid-19 viruses dclear gender-specific differences in the severity, as well as in the hospitalization and death rate “. In the case of Covid-19 deaths, the gynecologist explained, the ratio is around 60 to 40 percent.” Significantly more men than women die from or with Corona all age groups. “

The question arises, “Why are women doing better and how the findings can be applied to the treatment of people with coronary disease?” A Study from Wuhan would be first speculative findings show that female hormones, especially estrogen, have a positive effect on corona disease. Put simply, this could possibly be explained by the fact that estrogen downregulates the ACE2 receptor and the spike proteins of the coronavirus are therefore less able to dock with the receptors. “This means that fewer corona viruses enter the guest cell,” summarized Toth. Estrogens also had a direct immune stimulatory effect, which means that women may be better able to bring the viral infection under control.

This knowledge has already become one in the USA concrete intervention study guided. Men and women suffering from Covid-19 would be treated there with estrogen patches as part of a phase 2 study, reported Toth.

Aside from hormones, there is another gender-specific difference that, according to initial findings, affects the course of a corona infection, Toth said. A large number of genes that react to the immune response are located on the X chromosomes, of which women have two and men only one. “Therefore, the immune response in women could be more pronounced than in men,” said the Innsbruck doctor.

Estrogen levels play an important role

The study from Wuhan, which comprised a study population of 78 women, would also show that the estrogen level plays an important role. This also means that the gender-specific differences in this study are only significant before menopause. After menopause, the level of estrogen falls. “Non-menopausal women have a lower hospitalization rate and earlier discharge than women in the menopause,” Toth quoted the latest study results.

The results also have an impact on Toth’s area of ​​activity at the Innsbruck clinic. Because the fact that hormone therapy could have a positive effect on a possible corona infection and mitigate its course could be as additional benefit of such therapy be seen. Basically, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages in each individual case and after extensive, individualized advice. “In times of the pandemic we want to protect women over 55 years of age in particular. Hormone therapy could possibly have a positive effect on the immune response,” said Toth. There were still many exciting questions unanswered in connection with gender-specific reactions to the coronavirus, the doctor admitted.

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