This hormone may prevent COVID-19 death in older women

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In a new study from the Univerisity of Helsinki, researchers found an older woman’s oestrogen levels may be linked to her chances of dying from COVID-19, with higher levels of the hormone seemingly protective against severe infection.

It may be worth exploring supplemental hormone treatment to curb the severity of COVID-19 infection in women who have already gone through menopause.

Women seem to have a lower risk of severe COVID-19 infection than men, even after accounting for potentially influential factors.

And this is also true of other serious recent viral infections, such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

It has been suggested, therefore, that oestrogen may have a role in this gender discrepancy. To

In the study, the team analyzed national data from the Swedish Public Health Agency and the National Board of Health and Welfare.

The study sample included 14,685 women in total: 227 (2%) had been previously diagnosed with breast cancer and were on oestrogen blocker drugs; and 2535 (17%) were taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to boost their oestrogen levels.

The team found that compared with no oestrogen treatment, the odds of dying from COVID-19 were twice as high among women on oestrogen blockers, but 54% lower among women on HRT.

After accounting for potentially influential factors, the odds of dying from COVID-19 remained much lower (53%) for women on HRT.

Unsurprisingly, age was strongly associated with the risk of dying from COVID-19, with each extra year associated with 15% greater odds, while every additional coexisting condition increased the odds of death by 13%.

And those with the lowest household incomes were nearly 3 times as likely to die as those with the highest.

The team says this study shows an association between oestrogen levels and COVID-19 death.

Consequently, drugs increasing oestrogen levels may have a role in therapeutic efforts to alleviate COVID-19 severity in older women and could be studied in future research.

If you care about COVID, please read studies that drug combo can effectively fight COVID-19, and novel vaccine method to prevent COVID-19 infection.

For more information about Covid, please see recent studies about the cause of severe disease and death in COVID-19, and results showing scientists find antibodies that can neutralize Omicron.

The study is published in BMJ Open and was conducted by Malin Sund et al.

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