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IPFS News Link • Vaccines and Vaccinations

Progesterone therapy may improve COVID-19 outcomes for men, study finds

• Science Daily

Date: March 18, 2021

Source: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Summary: COVID-19 disproportionately affects men compared with women, raising the possibility that a hormone like progesterone may improve clinical outcomes for certain hospitalized men with the disease. New research supports this hypothesis.

COVID-19 disproportionately affects men compared with women, raising the possibility that a hormone like progesterone may improve clinical outcomes for certain hospitalized men with the disease. New research from Cedars-Sinai published online in the journal Chest supports this hypothesis.

The pilot clinical trial, involving 40 men, is believed to be the first published study to use progesterone to treat male COVID-19 patients whose lung functions have been compromised by the coronavirus. While the findings are promising, larger clinical trials are needed to establish the potential of this experimental therapy, the investigators said.

The study was prompted by multiple reports that men are at higher risk of mortality and severe illness from COVID-19 than are women, according to Sara Ghandehari, MD, director of Pulmonary Rehabilitation in the Women's Guild Lung Institute at Cedars-Sinai and principal investigator for the trial.

"As an ICU doctor, I was struck by the gender disparity among COVID-19 patients who were very sick, remained in the hospital and needed ventilators," she said. In addition, some published research had indicated that premenopausal women, who generally have higher progesterone levels, had less severe COVID-19 disease than did postmenopausal women, who have lower progesterone levels. While the bodies of both men and women naturally produce progesterone, women produce much more of the hormone during their reproductive years.


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