This Surprising Trait Perfectly Predicts Your Coronavirus Risk, Researchers Say
New research reveals a notable trend in people with this particular condition.
You know that the health of your heart, your lungs, and your blood pressure can contribute to how likely you are to come down with a severe case of coronavirus. But there's another very unexpected place to look if you're wondering whether or not you're at risk: the top of your head. New research has revealed that those with male pattern baldness may be at higher risk of suffering from severe coronavirus symptoms.
Carlos Wambier, MD, PhD, of Brown University, conducted research on the association between coronavirus cases and baldness. He told The Telegraph, "We really think that baldness is a perfect predictor of severity."
In one of two studies led by Wambier, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, he found that patients admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 were a disproportionately high number of men with male pattern baldness: Out of 122 patients admitted to three different hospitals in Madrid, 79 percent were bald men.
In fact, the link is so strong that Wambier is suggesting baldness should be considered a risk factor called the "Gabrin sign," after the first ER doctor in the U.S. to die of COVID-19, Frank Gabrin, MD, who was also bald.
Since the coronavirus pandemic started months ago, research has indicated that men are twice likely to die from coronavirus than women. The reasons behind this trend could be more than just behavioral and may have as much to do with the genetic makeup.
Medical and public health experts are starting to see evidence that the sex divide in those who succumb to the coronavirus may be due to androgens, hormones that play a role in male traits and reproductive activity. They are what may not only lead to hair loss, but could also affect the ability of cells to fight against the coronavirus. "We think androgens or male hormones are definitely the gateways for the virus to enter our cells," Wambier said.
As is the case with almost all coronavirus-related research, it is still very early in the process. But The Telegraph reports that Wambier's findings hint of the possibility that treatments suppressing these hormones, such as those used for baldness as well as diseases like prostate cancer, could also be used to slow the virus down, giving patients time to fight it off. And for more strange indicators of COVID-19 risk, check out This Finger Can Determine How Likely You Are to Die from Coronavirus.