Washington University ICTS supports new study that suggests, among men, low testosterone levels in the blood are linked to more severe COVID-19

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Sara Moser, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
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Throughout the pandemic, doctors have seen evidence that men with COVID-19 fare worse, on average, than women with the infection. One theory is that hormonal differences between men and women may make men more susceptible to severe disease. And since men have much more testosterone than women, some scientists have speculated that high levels of testosterone may be to blame.

But a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that, among men, the opposite may be true: that low testosterone levels in the blood are linked to more severe disease. The study could not prove that low testosterone is a cause of severe COVID-19; low levels could simply serve as a marker of some other causal factors. Still, the researchers urge caution with ongoing clinical trials investigating hormonal therapies that block or lower testosterone or increase estrogen as a treatment for men with COVID-19.

The study appears online May 25 in JAMA Network Open.

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