Aesthetic Magazine UK reports that researchers have discovered a novel biomarker to identify male COVID-19 patients most at risk for ICU admission.
The findings suggest that men with genetic characteristics (phenotypes) sensitive to the male sex hormone, androgen, are more likely to experience severe COVID-19 disease.
Researchers were driven to study the association between the androgen receptor (AR) gene and COVID-19, after observing the disproportionate number of men hospitalised with COVID-19 presenting with androgenetic alopecia, compared to the expected number in a similar age-matched population (79% vs 31-53%).
Dr Andy Goren, chief medical officer at Applied Biology in California, US, explained: “The identification of a biomarker connected with the androgen receptor is another piece of evidence highlighting the important role of androgens in COVID-19 disease severity.”
Applied Biology is a biotechnology company that specialises in hair science and developing drugs and medical devices to treat hair disorders.