Bald men may be at a higher risk of suffering severe COVID-19 symptoms and even death due to the androgen hormones, a new research has claimed.
Androgens are known to regulate the development and maintenance of male characteristics but had been found to cause hair loss in men while being linked to COVID-19 cases in Spanish hospitals.
According to Telegraph, Carlos Wambier, the lead author of the study at Brown University, named the discovery ‘Gabrin Sign’. It was named after Frank Gabrin, the first US physician to die of the novel coronavirus in the United States, who was bald.
The professor had led two studies in Spain, with both finding a disproportionate number of men with male-patterned baldness being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 than their counterparts.
In one study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 122 patients, who constituted 79 percent of men, who tested positive in three Madrid hospitals, turned out to be bald.
This came after an earlier study of 41 patients in Spain found that 71 percent were bald, although it noted its procedures were relatively small-scale and that more back-up research needed to be done.
It was gathered that the baldness rate in white men of a similar age to the study subjects was between 31 to 53 percent while a correlation was found on some women with androgenic hair loss.
“We really think that baldness is a perfect predictor of severity. We think Androgens or male hormones are definitely the gateways for the virus to enter our cells,” Wambier told Telegraph.
Previous research had established that men are generally more likely to die from COVID-19 than women due to higher levels of ACE2, the key blood enzyme that aids the infection in cells.
It also follows after another claimed that men with longer ring fingers are less likely to die of the disease as they have a lower risk of suffering complications when infected due to the same enzyme.y