Doctors wonder if giving men two female sex hormones can make them more likely to survive the novel coronavirus.
In the & # 39; world, women are from & # 39; most countries are less likely to become abruptly infected with the virus, and less likely to die.
This has led many researchers to question whether the hormones that are mainly produced in women can be protective, The New York Times reported.
Two hospitals in the US now put this theory on & # 39; e test, give men estrogen or progesterone for a limited time to see if it boosts their immune system, reduces inflammation and reduces the severity of the disease.
Some researchers believe that more men than women die from coronavirus due to the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone (image)
Stony Brook University in New York (left) and Cedars-Sinai in California (right) will each give male coronavirus patients one of the two hormones
The differences in deaths among men and women were evident from & # 39; early on in & # 39; a pandemic.
Last month, the Public Health Research Bureau said more than 70 percent of the country's deaths have been in men.
And, in February, China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the death rate in men with coronavirus was 65 percent higher than in women.
Scientists say they don't know why women are less likely to die, but have suggested that women naturally tend to have stronger immune systems and are less likely to have health conditions that make patients more vulnerable.
In China, researchers pointed the finger at men who don't drink and drink more often, but this was a cultural factor that may not be different in other countries.
This soon became clear in the US. In New York, more than 60 percent of & # 39; deaths from & # 39; e state been among men.
Recent research has suggested that the hormones can reduce the number of ACE2 receptors on & # 39; surfaces of cells that use the virus to enter the body.
The Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York will study estrogen, the primary female sex hormone.
Estrogen helps to develop and regulate the female reproductive system and plays a role in secondary sex traits.
Dr Sharon Nachman, head of the & # 39; Division of Infectious Diseases for Children, told The Times that the trial enrolled its first participant last week.
She hopes to have preliminary results in the next few months.
& # 39; It's totally out of & # 39; e box, that's how good ideas often start, & # 39; dr Nachman, associate dean for research at & # 39; a Renaissance School, which is part of the State University of New York.
The Strogen Brook University estrogen trial hopes to recruit 110 patients who visit the emergency room and have symptoms such as coughing, fever or shortness of breath.
They must test positive for COVID-19 – the disease caused by the virus – or they are assumed to have it, just as long as they do not need to be intubated.
They will see if the hormones increase the immune system of male patients, reduce inflammation and increase the severity of & # 39; a disease decreases. Image: Nurse Leah Silver cares for a patient with coronavirus in the COVID ICU at the University of Washington Medical Center – Montlake in Seattle, Washington, April 24
Recent research has suggested that the hormones can reduce the number of ACE2 receptors on & # 39; surfaces of cells that use the virus to enter the body. Image: Medics prepared to intubate a patient with COVID-19 symptoms at home in Yonkers, New York, April 6
Half will receive an estradiol patch one week and the other half will be a control group. Researchers will see if the hormone helps reduce the severity of the disease.
The hypothesis is that the hormone can help clear the infection and prevent cytokine disorders, which is when the body not only attacks the virus but also attacks its cells and tissues.
& # 39; We may not understand exactly how & # 39; estrogen works, but maybe we can see how & # 39; the patient does, & # 39; Dr Nachman told The Times.
& # 39; While we see women getting infected, their answers are different. We see that fewer of them have the second, dysregulated immune response. & # 39;
Next week, researchers in Los Angeles will begin testing another sex hormone found mainly in women, progesterone.
Infections have been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent the immune system from overreacting to pathogens from outside.
& # 39; D & # 39; s a striking difference between the number of men and women in & # 39; an intensive care unit, and men clearly do it less. & # 39;
She told the newspaper that 75 percent of her patients with intensive care of their hospital and patients on ventilators are men.
About 40 male patients will be enrolled in the Cedars-Sinai study, all of which have positive tests for the virus and have mild to moderate cases.
Half of the participants will receive five shifts of progesterone per day for five days and the other half will be a control group.
Researchers will see if this helps to monitor their oxygen levels and prevent the need to enter or intubate the ICU.
Compared to the estrogen study, the theory is that progesterone will also prevent cytokine disorders.
Dr Ghandedari said she has also seen that the majority are ill Pregnant women, who typically have high levels of both hormones, have midl cause of the virus.
& # 39; So something about woman is protective, and something about pregnancy is protective, and that makes us think about hormones, & # 39; she said.
Both hospitals told The Times that all male participants are alerted to possible side effects such as hot flashes and tenderness of breasts.
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