High enzyme levels in men aids infection

Men have high levels of enzyme key to COVID-19 infection

Men have high levels of enzyme key to COVID-19 infection

The scientists also revealed that tears may serve as a spread of infection adding that they analysed ten human post-mortem eyes from people who did not die of COVID-19 for the expression of ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2).

Their study involved more than 2,000 elderly men and women with heart failure but no coronavirus infection, many of whom were taking common blood pressure drugs that block the effect of this enzyme, known as ACE2 inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

However, the study started before the COVID-19 outbreak and did not include patients of the pandemic, according to a professor of cardiology Adriaan Voors from the University Medical Center (UMC) Groningen in The Netherlands.

A study from 11 European countries may help explain reports that the new coronavirus seems to attack men more often and more severely than women.

Now, their study is one of the top answers when people are researching why men are more vulnerable to COVID-19 compared to women.

A new study has found that men's blood has higher levels than women's of a key enzyme used by the new coronavirus to infect cells.

The researchers assessed the number of clinical factors that could play a role in ACE2 concentrations, including the use of ACE inhibitors, a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and coronary artery by-pass graft. This means they can not provide a direct link between the disease and ACE2 concentrations in the plasma.

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Patients looked at also had pre-existing heart failure and so may not be entirely representative of the general population, and perhaps most crucially, did not have COVID-19. "In fact, they predicted lower concentrations of ACE2 in the validation cohort, although we did not see this in the index cohort", said Prof Voors.

According to them, men's high levels of ACE2, which were also found in the testes, could account for why they are more likely to suffer severe complications after contracting the infection.

In an associated editorial, Gavin Oudit (University of Alberta, Canada) and Marc Pfeffer (Harvard Medical School, USA) say: "When faced with the rapidly expanding COVID-19 pandemic and in the absence of definitive data, the results of Sama et al obtained in heart failure patients in the pre-COVID-19 period offer supporting evidence to continue ACE inhibitors or ARBs in patients at risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection".

COVID-19 patients and those with underlying ailments are in a hyperinflammatory state and thereby have a higher concentration of blood ACE2 levels.

Nevertheless, Voors and his team saw significant overlaps with their study when experts began pointing to ACE2 receptors as a vital element of the coronavirus infection.

According to the study, men has higher levels of ACE2 receptors that the coronavirus use to attach itself to cells.

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