“Bald men are twice as likely to suffer severe Covid” effects

“We think androgens or male hormones are definitely the gateway for the virus to enter our cells. We really think that baldness is a perfect predictor of severity.”

Caution: “So far studies have been of relatively small numbers of patients.”

The above headline within quotation marks was from a Brit tabloid, so you can’t treat it with the solemnity you would accord the Journal of the AMA, but they may actually be onto something, even if they have sensationalized the science to create a paper-selling headline.

The company that discovered the link last spring, Applied Biology, more recently ran a study that tested the use of an androgen inhibitor (Proxalutamide) on COVID patients, and it seems to have been very successful in preventing severe symptoms and the progression of the disease.

As sensational as it seems to propose a correlation between baldness and COVID, the whole concept is actually plausible, given that some element of male biology seems to have consistently made males more vulnerable to the virus in country after country. In the USA, about 236,000 Americans under the age of 75 have died from COVID, consisting of 148,000 men and only 88,000 women. Although that disparity may have behavioral components, it seems that biology must also play a part, and it is reasonable (but not certain) to hypothesize that androgens may be involved, since they are only present in females in limited amounts.

That said, Proxalutamide also showed a fairly high level of gastrointestinal side-effects in the test, although a bit of nausea and diarrhea seems to be a fairly good alternative to death. Once again it must be noted that only about 260 patients were studied in the Applied Biology test, although the results were statistically significant even with so few degrees of freedom.

2 thoughts on ““Bald men are twice as likely to suffer severe Covid” effects

  1. 260 patients is a sample around the size of a thimble. Useless statistically for something the size and scope of COVID. May as well take an eye dropper of ocean water and give conclusions on the whole thing.

    The facts are that they have a lot of theories. The best ones involve blood type, which make the most sense because it’s a blood virus, although we’ve never seen anything like that before. The Chinese found some links there before it burned out over there in sample sizes just a teeny bit bigger than 260.

    It’s a simple as this: we won’t understand why it attacks some people and leaves others some until it’s over. We don’t have time or resources right now. We’re too busy staying alive. The fact is that while we’ve seen viruses like this before (the original SARS) they didn’t hang around long enough to understand them. This one has, and it’s blown our minds. It’s re-written the rulebook on every level.

    We expected the flu to be the one to take us out, not some relative of the common cold that affects the blood and destroys organs.

    1. 260 patients is a tiny number, but the results are very convincing, if you study them. In virus-related disorders, the control group had five to nineteen times as many cases.

      While 100 at bats don’t make a guy Ted Williams, you can put money down on the fact that the guy who starts his career 57-for-100 is a better hitter than the guy who goes 3-for-100. (And the results of this study were that dramatic in reducing some symptoms. There is something there. The androgen inhibitors, like those used to treat prostate cancer, seem to have a powerful mitigating impact on COVID symptoms. That isn’t the same as either a cure or a prophylactic, but it does seem to be able to keep cases mild rather than severe, which is also a welcome addition to the arsenal. )

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