Injection with the female sex hormone progesterone could improve outcomes for men hospitalised with severe COVID-19 infections, a study has concluded.
Progesterone has certain anti-inflammatory properties and thus, the team said, may be able to dampen the often fatal immune responses called ‘cytokine storms’.
The research was undertaken by pulmonologist Sara Ghandehari of the Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and her colleagues.
‘As an ICU doctor, I was struck by the gender disparity among COVID-19 patients who were very sick, remained in the hospital and needed ventilators,’ she said.
Progesterone is produced in both men and women’s bodies, although the latter produce considerably more of the hormone during their reproductive years.