Friday, July 3, 2020

COVID-19 less likely in men with lower testosterone, study says

The globe is fighting, trying its way to eliminate COVID-19. We make progress every day, as we become one step closer to eliminating the disease. This is because our understanding of the coronavirus is also increasing, helping us to put a fight. A new finding may help prevent the disease, specifically in men.

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Researchers found that men in Italy who have developed prostate cancer and on Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) were less likely to get COVID-19. Androgen deprivation therapy, also called ADT, uses surgery or medicines to lower the levels of androgens made in the testicles, according to cancer.org. In addition, they also found that the integrity of the disease is also not severe in these patients. Experts speculate that such a therapy can be used in severely affected men to save lives. This is of particular importance because men are more affected than women in Italy. We already saw in detail about his scenario in Italy. But when scientists combined all the data, they saw a breakthrough – a blockade of TMPRSS2, an accessory enzyme along with ACE-2 that plays a vital role in COVID-19 infecting cells. This blockade of the enzyme was due to tot the Androgen deprivation therapy that patients underwent.

The study

The study was based on data collected from 4,500 patients in the Veneto region of Italy. People with cancer are highly prone to the disease, but experts saw only four people in the region with ADT got affected with zero mortality. But the scenario was opposite in the men who had prostate cancer, but did not take ADT. Experts say various factors play a vital role here. One such being ADT patients aren’t immunosuppressive like other cancer patients. Moreover, they do not have intense hospital routines that other cancer patients undergo. Experts do say that for many years it was known that ADT inhibits the enzyme. Therefore, this is the possible reason behind prostate cancer patients having a wave of the disease.

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Experts also think that this therapy should be used to treat men with COVID-19. Experts also advised patients not to compel their physicians on shifting them to ADT treatment. However, ADT patients should still continue to maintain social distancing follow hygiene practices as recommended by health agencies. We should see here that this is only a small scale study and needs more evidence to support the reliability of a large scale population.

Moreover, physicians also advise people not to self medicate themselves with ADT as it can cause serious side effects. Some of them include hot flashes, fatigue, looks of muscle mass, deprivation of bone mineral density, and their effects. So, physicians strictly contradict from taking self medications. Further studies will help us evaluate the real scenario of ADT’s role in the disease.

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Source: U.S.News

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