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Progesterone Treatment Can Help Reduce Severity of Covid-19 in Men, Finds Study

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

The hormone progesterone is produced in both men and women's bodies, but the latter produce them more during their reproductive years.

A recent study has found that injecting with the female sex hormone progesterone can significantly improve the health in men who have been hospitalised with severe Covid-19 symptoms. A team of researchers in California have found that progesterone has some anti-inflammatory properties and thus found the hormone useful in reducing the fatal immune responses known as ‘cytokine storms’. Pulmonologist Sara Ghandehari of the Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and her colleagues were the ones behind the study who recruited some 40 male patients for their trials. The study was published in the online journal Chest.

Ghandehari said she found it surprising at how the virus affected men and women differently, with the former needing more hospital treatment and ventilators in general. The hormone progesterone is produced in both men and women’s bodies, but the latter produce them more during their reproductive years. The experts have also observed that women in their premenopausal years experienced less severe symptoms of Covid-19 as compared to those who were in postmenopause phase.

The 40 men, who were selected for clinical trials were divided into two groups. Among them, one group was given the standard treatment, while the other group received 100 milligram injections of progesterone twice daily for 5 days while being hospitalised. The patients were then monitored by the research team for over 15 days or until they were discharged, Daily Mail said.

Ranked on the standard seven-point scale of clinical status from 7 (not hospitalized, no limitations on activities) to 1 (death), the researchers found that patients who received the progesterone injections fared better with a median of 1.5 points higher on the scale. They also had lesser days of hospitalisation and lower requirement of oxygen and ventilation. However, two patients, one from each group passed away during the 15-day study time period but these were unrelated to the experiment.

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However, Dr Ghandehari says that the progesterone treatment is yet to be tested in much detailing as the trial participants were very less in number and also comprised of mostly White, Hispanic and obese individuals with moderate other conditions and thus needs more studying.

first published:March 22, 2021, 17:20 IST