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Hormone therapy (ADT) and Covid

Updated: Apr 16, 2022

Testosterone suppresses the immune system.

Males have more testosterone than women.

So women have stronger immune systems than men.

When it comes to infections, women get fewer, and less severe complications.

Hence 'male flu'?

What the stronger immune system does give women is the lion share (80%) of autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis.

Furman: Systems analysis of sex differences reveals an immunosuppressive role for testosterone in the response to influenza vaccination

ADT (hormone therapy) takes away a man's test testosterone, and so gives him a stronger immune system - potentially less flu, etc than his mates, with less severe symptoms.

When it comes to covid:

Overall, males developed more severe complications, were more frequently hospitalized, and had a worse clinical outcome than females

Peckham: Male sex identified by global COVID-19 meta-analysis as a risk factor for death and ITU admission

But, men with prostate cancer on ADT may be somewhat protected against the worst:

Montopoli: Androgen-deprivation therapies for prostate cancer and risk of infection by SARS-CoV-2: a population-based study (N = 4532)

But, not from catching covid:

Klein: Androgen Deprivation Therapy in Men with Prostate Cancer Does Not Affect Risk of Infection with SARS-CoV-2

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