Are men who suffer from male pattern baldness more at risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms and more likely to die from the virus? Unlikely as it may seem for there to be a connection between the two conditions, researchers recently noticed a higher incidence of coronavirus-related deaths in bald men than those who do not experience hair loss.
As reported in London’s The Telegraph, scientists suspect that the link between COVID-19 fatalities and hair loss is found in androgens, male sex hormones that are cousins of other similar hormones such as testosterone. Androgens trigger follicle miniaturization and make hair more likely to fall out. But androgens may also increase the ability of the virus to attack cells in the body, increasing the likelihood that symptoms will be severe.
“We really think that baldness is a perfect predictor of severity,” said Carlos Wambier, a Brown University professor who had conducted studies on the subject, as quoted in the Telegraph article.
Wambier conducted a small study in Spain that found that bald men accounted for 79% of all males with coronavirus admitted to three Madrid hospitals. Another study involving prostate cancer in Italy found that patients who received androgen-deprivation therapy were only a quarter as likely to contract COVID-19 as men receiving other cancer treatments.
Statistics since the dawn of the pandemic show that men generally are 2.5 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than women. Pattern baldness may be a big reason behind the disparity.
This has lead researchers to consider the enticing possibility that anti-baldness treatments that focus on lowering androgen levels could also be helpful in slowing down the virus in men who become infected, giving their bodies more time to fight and recover. Studies are already underway to explore the potential efficacy of these treatments, though they are in their earliest stages.
The Miami Hair Institute Remains Committed To Helping Our Patients Through These Difficult Times
These are challenging and unprecedented times for all of us. At the Miami Hair Institute, we know how difficult and stressful things can be as we cope with the uncertainties and disruptions caused by COVID-19. If you are experiencing hair loss, that can make matters even more stressful. During this time, we remain committed to helping our clients address their hair loss issues safely and effectively through our advanced hair restoration surgical techniques, technology, and alternative non-invasive treatments. To receive your personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.