Study Suggests Bald Men Could Be at Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19 Symptoms

Some experts argue more research is necessary

The bald head of German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier is pictured as he holds a press conference about the new amendment of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act and the overall economic development, in Berlin, on April 8, 2020, in the context of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by MICHAEL KAPPELER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The bald head of German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier is pictured as he holds a press conference about the new amendment of the Foreign Trade and Payments Act and the overall economic development, in Berlin, on April 8, 2020, in the context of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by MICHAEL KAPPELER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
POOL/AFP via Getty Images
By Bonnie Stiernberg / June 5, 2020 10:14 am

We already know that men are dying from coronavirus at higher rates than women, and new study might provide some clues as to why: one researcher claims those with male pattern baldness may at a higher risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms.

Carlos Wambier, a researcher at Brown University, told the Daily Telegraph that he believes “baldness is a perfect predictor of severity” of coronavirus symptoms in patients. Wambier conducted two studies in Spain and found that a disproportionate number of bald men were hospitalized with the virus.

In his first study, Wambier examined 41 coronavirus patients and found that 71 percent of them had male pattern baldness, which is ” a higher percentage than the background rate for baldness in men of a similar age.” His second study looked at 122 male COVID-19 patients in Madrid and found that almost 80 percent of them were bald.

“We think androgens or male hormones are definitely the gateway for the virus to enter our cells,” he said.

However, some experts argue that more research is necessary. “There are now several clinical studies starting which hope to address these issues, but much more evidence is needed before we can know whether these hormone therapies would be an effective treatment for COVID-19,” Karen Stalbow, head of policy at Prostate Cancer UK, said.

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