Bald men are 40 percent more likely to end up in hospital with the coronavirus, a study claims.
Dermatologists discovered the link between hair loss and coronavirus severity by analyzing data from 2,000 British men in the hospital.
The results showed that a fifth of the men without hair in the hospital had tested positive for the virus – compared to 15 percent of those with a full head of hair.
Because the men tested positive in the hospital, this indicates that they had a severe form of Covid-19. But the patient’s results were not revealed to confirm the claim.
The study – not the first to come across the bizarre link – said other risk factors for Covid-19, such as diabetes and age, did not explain the gap.
It has been theorized that the male hormones that stimulate hair loss in both men and women also help the virus invade cells. But there is no evidence to support this.
Experts warned that the findings are “not very strong,” saying there is a whole list of other factors that may explain why bald men die more. For example, ethnicity is associated with a higher risk of severe Covid-19, but this research did not seem to take this into account.
Dr. Michael Kolodney and colleagues calculated that bald men were 40 percent more likely to test positive than those with full head of hair (1 is baseline, therefore 1.4 is a 40 percent higher risk)
Researchers at West Virginia University investigated the link between her and Covid-19. The results were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
They used 1,605 patients who tested negative for the infection and 336 patients of the same age and BMI who declined positively and were ‘hospitalized’.
The Covid-19 test was performed because they had symptoms of the NHS-listed coronavirus, including fever and persistent cough.
All men were part of the British Biobank, a huge data set of 500,000 people that has collected information about volunteers over the past 14 years.
For the most recent data collection conducted last year, men described how much hair they had.
The four options were pattern 1: ‘no hair loss’, pattern 2: ‘mild hair loss’, pattern 3: ‘moderate hair loss’ and pattern 4: ‘severe hair loss’.
Fifteen percent of the men in the pattern 1 group tested positive for Covid-19 and it was slightly higher (17 percent) for men in the next group.
About 18 percent of the men with pattern 3 tested positive and jumped up to 20 percent in those who were completely bald.
Dr. Michael Kolodney and colleagues calculated that bald men were 40 percent more likely to test positive than those with a full head of hair.
They took into account other Covid-19 risk factors, including high blood pressure and diabetes, to focus solely on the impact of the severity of baldness.
The academics noted that their findings are the findings of Dr. Carlos Wambier, a dermatologist at Brown University, Rhode Island, supported.
He conducted two investigations in Spain, the findings of which in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Both have found a disproportionate number of men with male-pattern baldness who have been hospitalized with the deadly disease.
Bald men are 40 percent more likely to end up in hospital with the coronavirus, a study claims
In one study, 79 percent of the 122 men who tested positive in three hospitals in Madrid were bald.
An earlier, smaller study by Professor Wambier revealed that 71 percent of the 41 hospitalized Covid-19 men in Spain were bald.
For comparison, the percentage of baldness in white men the same age as the one studied is between 30 and 50 percent – significantly lower.
Professor Wambier said The Telegraph“We really think baldness is a perfect predictor of severity.”
Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at The Open University, Milton Keynes, noted that all studies to date have only been observational.
He told MailOnline, “They simply looked at the chance of testing positive in different groups of men, ranked by how bald they said they were.
COVID-19 CAUSES ‘HAIR LOSS’
Coronavirus survivors have revealed how much hair loss they suffer as a result of the disease.
Eva Proudman, of the Institute of Trichologists, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and conditions of the hair and scalp, told FEMAIL that she may have had experience telogen effluvium, a ‘colander’ condition caused by a number of potential factors.
Among them is a continuous high temperature as experienced by some Covid-19 patients, as well as childbirth, trauma or illness, stress, extreme weight loss, medications or a skin condition affecting the scalp.
Eva said, “Generally with a normal growth and shedding cycle for your hair, about 85 percent of your hair is the growth phase, with 15 percent either resting, shedding or moving back to regrow.
‘But with telogen effluvium this can effectively switch, leaving a very thin layer of hair on the head. Fortunately, with proper diagnosis and treatment, a good recovery can be achieved. ‘
Grace Dudley, 30, a mother of a mother from Romford, Essex, spent nearly two weeks in the hospital after contracting Covid-19 from her father, who later died of multiple organ failure caused by the virus.
More than a month after she was discharged, Grace, a makeup artist, began to see her hair fall out in large clumps, for seemingly no reason.
“I woke up to find it was on my pillow and thought,” That’s no good, “she said in an interview with FEMAIL. “Every time I brushed my hair, it fell out and it still happens. I have lost about 55 percent of my hair every day and I lose more. ‘
Grace was told by an expert that her hair loss was related to Covid-19. According to Grace, the trichologist said it was caused by severe hair loss because the body had been so close to death that it began to ‘close’ the follicles on her head in an effort to conserve energy for essential functions.
Meanwhile, others have taken to Twitter to share their hair loss experiences weeks and even months after the initial symptoms of Covid-19 passed.
“But the problem is that there are many differences between the baldest and the least bald men, other than the condition of their hairline.”
Professor McConway added, “If nothing else, bald men will be on average older than less bald men.
Any differences in the Covid-19 risk may be caused by these other differences and have no cause-and-effect relationship with baldness.
“This research, for example, did not make any adjustments to ethnicity or any degree of poverty or deprivation, or the work the men do.
“If any of those things are also individually related to baldness, they may be the real cause of differences between the baldest and the least bald men.”
Professor McConway also said there is uncertainty about the results, which is why the risk to bald men may be insignificant.
He added, “Overall, the evidence that baldness is a risk factor from this study is not very strong.”
Professor Wambier believes that bald men are at a higher risk of dying from coronavirus because male hormones help the virus invade cells.
He said, “We think androgens or male hormones are definitely the gateway for the virus to enter our cells.”
SARS-CoV-2 locks onto ACE-2 receptors that cover the cell surface and act as a gateway in it.
An enzyme called TMPRSS2 helps to prepare the virus, allowing it to bind to the ACE-2 receptors.
The gene encoding TMPRSS2 is activated when male hormones, especially dihydrotestosterone (DHT), bind to androgen receptors.
The theory is that the more male hormones there are, the more TMPRSS2 is present and the easier it is for viruses to enter cells.
High levels of androgens, including testosterone, are associated with hair loss in genetically susceptible people.
DHT is the major androgen responsible for androgenetic alopecia – also known as male pattern baldness.
Data has been clear since the onset of the pandemic to show that men are at greater risk of serious infection and death from Covid-19 than women.
Public Health England suggested that working-age men are twice as likely as women to die from the virus in a June report.
But while some scientists believe that hair loss causes men to die from Covid-19 more than women, there are many other explanations suggested.
These include the theory that men smoke more often, which increases the chances of pre-existing health problems.
Genetic differences also make men’s immune systems slightly weaker than women’s, which is already seen as the outcome of a wide variety of infectious diseases.