Female Hormones and COVID-19
Published: 14th December 2020
Quite naturally in the current climate, most of us spend a significant amount of our time now thinking about COVID-19 and the impact it has had on so many lives in different ways.
As well as a medical degree, I also have a degree in Immunology, and for several years I've been very interested in the many different roles estrogen has in improving the way our cells that fight infections work. We have estrogen receptors on all of these cells and when they are stimulated by estrogen then they work much more efficiently.
It has been known from the outset of the pandemic that men are more likely to die and have a more severe infection with COVID-19 than women. Some of this is very likely to be associated to the protective effect women have when they have estrogen in their bodies.
There has still be very little research done in this area as women's health generally is not a priority for research, but an analysis of electronic health records of nearly 70,000 patients who tested positive for COVID-19, from 17 countries, has shown that...
...women taking HRT were more than 50% less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to women not taking HRT.
I was recently asked to write an article to discuss this in more detail and to explore how low hormone levels can be associated with long Covid. The content of the article is most definitely food for thought and will hopefully be shared far and wide.
Dr Louise Newson