As the coronavirus or COVID-19 continues to spread worldwide, scientists and researchers are getting to know new things related to the deadly disease. Now, a study has suggested that men are more affected by the disease as it attacks the male sex hormone. Tests have shown that the infection drains around 30 percent of the male testosterone levels, as per the study.
The experts stated that this decreased sex drives and increased the risks of falling severely ill. The lead author Professoer Selahitting Çayan said, "In our study, the mean total testosterone decreased, as the severity of the Covid-19 increased. Testosterone is associated with the immune system of respiratory organs, and low levels of testosterone might increase the risk of respiratory infections."
The scientists in Turkey found that 51 percent of the men who tested positive for the disease at the hospitals developed hypogonadism, which is a condition where the bodies do not make enough testosterone. On average, the levels got drained by 30 percent after the infection to borderline unhealthy levels.
Sex Drive in Men Affected by COVID-19
There ate concerns that it might be affecting the men who are asymptomatic after two-thirds confirmed low sex drive, which is a sign of flagging levels of the hormone. Testosterone also helps in regulating the immune response like fighting against viral infections. The University of Mersin researchers claimed that there is a direct correlation between the lower levels of testosterone and severe illness. They think the disease makes men more vulnerable to the nastier symptoms affecting their immune system.
Earlier studies had linked low levels to an increased risk of dying due to the flu. The latest study published in The Aging Male studied 232 men with the deadly disease. They got divided into three groups, intensive care patients, those who required standard hospital care, and asymptomatic patients.
"The mean total testosterone level was significantly lower in the ICU group than in the asymptomatic group. In addition, the mean total testosterone level was significantly lower in the ICU group than in the standard care group," Çayan said. "Low testosterone is also associated with infection-related hospitalization and all-cause mortality in males in ICU patients, so testosterone treatment may also have benefits beyond improving outcomes for Covid-19," the researcher added.
Hypogonadism was found in 113 patients. Pre-COVID-19 test restore levels were available for only 24 participants. But the results showed that the patients witnessed a drop in their levels by a third on average. The researchers are now asking all the men hospitalized with the disease to get their testosterone levels tested.
"It could be recommended that at the time of Covid-19 diagnosis, testosterone levels are also tested. In men with low levels of sex hormones who test positive for Covid-19, testosterone treatment could improve their prognosis. More research is needed on this," the lead author said as reported by the Daily Star.
The researcher also agreed to the fact that the study was limited as it did not have a control group of patients having conditions other than coronavirus. The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world infecting more than 33.3 million people an over one million people have lost their lives.