Are sex discordant outcomes in COVID-19 related to sex hormones?

Jonathan D. Strope, Cindy H. Chau, William D. Figg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


COVID-19 has a clear sex disparity in clinical outcome. Globally, infection rates between men and women are similar; however, men are more likely to have more severe disease and are more likely to die. The causes for this disparity are currently under investigation and are most likely multifactorial. Sex hormones play an important role in the immune response with estrogen seen as immune boosting and testosterone as immunosuppressing. Additionally, an important protease involved in viral entry, TMPRSS2, is regulated by androgens. Many observational and prospective studies are ongoing or initiating to further examine the role of sex hormones in SARS-CoV-2 infection and if modulation of them is a realistic treatment option.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-340
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • ACE
  • Androgens
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • SARS-CoV-2


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