Bald men more vulnerable to COVID-19 symptoms, New Research suggests

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According to Thehealthsite.com, the COVID-19 pandemic has perplexed researchers and doctors with its behaviour since it started spreading because of symptoms and other factors. However, one factor has been observed that this virus has hit men more than women. The research suggests that bald men are likely to be a soft target for the deadly virus.

The report cites new research that has come has emphasized upon the fact that bald men are more vulnerable to severe COVID-19 symptoms. A team of researchers at Brown University observed that male pattern baldness is more to the risk of contacting COVID-19 symptoms. The lead author of this study, Dr Carlos Wambier, is reported to have opined that androgen, the male hormone responsible for baldness in men, could be a potential entry point of the novel coronavirus in their cells.

Dr Wambier and the team conducted two separate studies in Spain and that reportedly also suggested that there could be a strong correlation between male baldness and COVID-19. One of those studies, published in the American Academy of Dermatology, reviewed the cases of 122 COVID-19 positive men who were admitted to hospitals in Madrid. 79% of these COVID-19 patients were bald, the findings concluded.

Another study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that 71% of COVID-19 patients were found to have had male pattern baldness, but no conclusive opinion can be drawn out of these findings, said the report.

The report, however, discussed other factors that are likely to the reasons behind men being a soft target of COVID-19.

1. The novel coronavirus reportedly needs a protein called ACE2 receptors to bind, multiply, and spread when it enters into a human system. Even as the proteins are harboured mostly in the lungs, heart, and intestines, recent research carried out in New York and Mumbai reportedly found that testicles of men house ACE2 receptors in large quantities and allows the novel coronavirus to stay for a longer duration in them, while the prevalence of ACE2 receptors was far less in the ovaries of women.

2. Smoking, a habit more common in men than women, is also stated to cause the male population more prone to the risk of COVID-19 infection, said the report citing some studies. The smoke of cigarettes reportedly increased the volume of ACE2 receptors in the lungs, the organ which the novel coronavirus mostly hits.

3. According to Thehealthsite.com, unlike women, men have only one X chromosome per cell, instead of two, and this chromosome houses significant numbers of immune genes, including the one for a protein called TLR7. This helps doctors detect single-stranded RNA virus-like the novel coronavirus. Since women have a higher count of this gene, because of 2 X chromosomes per cell, the response of their immune cells to the COVID-19 infection is reportedly better than men.

4. As men are less serious about their hygiene standards than women, they falter while it comes to following protective measures like hand washing, cough etiquette, etc, said the report, adding that this is also one of the reasons that make them more vulnerable to the infection.