Coronavirus update: Have you suffered hair loss? You could be at risk of severe symptoms

Coronavirus invades the human body, and the aftermath is a guessing game. Some are okay, others require hospitalisation. One study has linked bald men with more severe reactions to the disease.

A preprint research paper by Carlos Wambier, from Brown University, linked androgens as a gateway for coronavirus to enter human cells.

What is an androgen?

An androgen is a male sex hormone, such as testosterone.

Conducting two studies in Spain, the Assistant Professor of Dermatology found a large percentage of bald men needed hospital treatment since contracting the virus.


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In the first study, Wambier observed 41 coronavirus patients.

He found that 71 percent of them had male pattern baldness.

Male pattern baldness follows a pattern of receding hairline – usually marked as “M”.

The condition also results in hair thinning on the head’s crown.

In the second study, the research team – alongside Wabier – looked at 175 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Out of 175 people, 122 of patients were male and 79 percent of them were found to suffer from androgenetic alopecia.

Androgenetic alopecia is a common hair loss condition that affects both sexes – male and female.

Alopecia UK states it’s often referred to as “male pattern hair loss” or “female pattern hair loss”.

Androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness) affects 50 percent of men over the age of 50.

And the condition affects 50 percent of women over the age of 65.

Unfortunately, the hair follicles affected by androgenetic alopecia are permanently damaged.

This means any hair loss as a result of this condition is permanent.


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Wabier commented: “The main insight is that excess activation of androgens is intrinsically linked to the vulnerability of patients to SARS-CoV-2.

“This is because the first step to the virus’s entry into a cell is a ‘bite’ from a protease enzyme that is produced only by action of androgen hormones.”

The research paper is awaiting peer review and is due to be published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

On reflection, Wambier admitted his sample size is relatively small.

Also, that the lack of a control group limits his study.

However, Wambier believes his study builds on the research that shows men are more at risk from coronavirus than women.

Wambier has suggested the bald risk factor should be named the “Gabrin sign”.

He chose this name as Dr Frank Gabrin was the first US doctor to die of coronavirus who was bald.

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