Since March of 2020, we’ve seen how men are more vulnerable to Covid than women. Newer studies report that COVID-19 affects men twice as frequently as women and that men have a significantly increased risk of severity and mortality with the virus.
Emerging vaccine research also shows that men have a lower antibody response to vaccines in general—meaning Covid vaccine efficacy may be higher in women than men.
When it comes to COVID-19, why are men more at risk?
There are a few scientific theories on why this gender gap exists, including psychosocial behavioral differences and genetics, but a new study points to another culprit: low testosterone.
Low T’s Connection With Poor Covid Outcomes
In a study published in July 2020, researchers from the US and Saudi Arabia found a direct correlation between poor clinical outcomes and disease severity in male patients with Covid-19 and lower serum testosterone levels. Male Covid patients with low T were also more likely to be admitted to the ICU than patients with adequate T levels.
In other words, guys with low T who contract Covid are more likely to experience severe or fatal cases of the virus.
Low T’s Impact On The ACE-2 receptor
As most of us are aware, COVID-19 enters our bodies through mucosal membranes—through the entryways on our face that masks best protect, including the eyes, nose, and mouth.
It then enters the alveolar epithelial cells by binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE-2) receptors. ACE-2 receptors play a crucial role in the protection of our lungs, but when a virus like COVID-19 binds to these receptors, this protective pathway is disrupted.
ACE-2 receptors are also expressed in the Leydig cells of the testis, whose main function is to produce testosterone. In addition to its many functions, testosterone helps to modulate the immune response.
Low serum testosterone levels have been shown to induce the body to make more ACE-2 receptors, thus increasing the ability for the SARS-Cov2 virus (which causes COVID) to enter cells. As a result, men with COVID-19 and low T have been found to have a higher risk of lung damage and respiratory muscle catabolism, and a greater need of ventilator support.
How TRT Can Help
Scientists have connected the dots between low T and worse clinical outcomes in men with COVID-19.
But publications have also found that when patients are treated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), hospitalization and all-cause mortality rates are significantly reduced—indicating that TRT and normalizing testosterone levels may play an important role in patients with COVID-19.
Recent events have amplified the importance of preventive healthcare. At Vault, we leverage cutting-edge science and leading technology to bring the best and newest treatments right to your door.
Book an online visit with Vault today to see how we can help to normalize your T levels and optimize your health.