New York, May 26 (IANS) Men with low testosterone levels may be more prone to severe Covid-19 infection, say researchers, including one of Indian origin.The study did not find a direct correlation however, those with the lowest levels of testosterone in the blood were at the highest risk of going on a ventilator, needing intensive care or dying."If a man had low testosterone when he first came to the hospital, his risk of having severe Covid-19 -- meaning his risk of requiring intensive care or dying -- was much higher compared with men who had more circulating testosterone," said researcher Abhinav Diwan from Washington University School of Medicine."And if testosterone levels dropped further during hospitalisation, the risk increased," Diwan added.For the study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, the researchers measured several hormones in blood samples from 90 men and 62 women with symptoms of Covid-19 and who had confirmed cases of the illness.For the 143 patients who were admitted to the hospital, the researchers measured hormone levels again at days 3, 7, 14 and 28, as long as the patients remained hospitalized over these time frames.In addition to testosterone, the team measured levels of estradiol, a form of estrogen produced by the body, and IGF-1, an important growth hormone that is similar to insulin and plays a role in maintaining muscle mass.Among women, the researchers found no correlation between levels of any hormone and disease severity. Among men, only testosterone levels were linked to Covid-19 severity.A blood testosterone level of 250 nanograms per deciliter or less is considered low testosterone in adult men.At hospital admission, men with severe Covid-19 had average testosterone levels of 53 nanograms per deciliter; men with less severe disease had average levels of 151 nanograms per deciliter.By day three, the average testosterone level of the most severely ill men was only 19 nanograms per deciliter.In addition, the team found that lower testosterone levels in men also correlated with higher levels of inflammation and an increase in the activation of genes that allow the body to carry out the functions of circulating sex hormones inside the cells.--IANSvc/in
Thiruvananthapuram, May 24 (IANS) Two daily wage earners, around 50 years of age, were found dead in their adjacent homes in Kerala's Alappuzha district on Monday, having allegedly drunk sanitiser, police said.According to the Kuthiathodu police, they said the deceased were neighbours and the empty bottles of sanitiser and glasses were found near them."The actual cause of death would be known only when the autopsy report comes. We have begun a probe into the cause of the death," said a police official.Ever since the state's daily Covid cases started rising substantially, the state government decided to close down all liquor vends, both government and private, from April 26.As per an earlier study, 32.9 lakh people -- 29.8 lakh men and 3.1 lakh women -- out of the 3.34 crore population in the state consume liquor, and out of these, around five lakh people consume liquor on a daily basis. Of this, 83,851 people, including 1.043 women, are addicted to alcohol, according to state government statistics.--IANSsg/vd
New York, May 12 (IANS) US researchers have for the first time demonstrated that Covid-19 can be present in the penis tissue long after men recover from the infection and lead to erectile dysfunction.The Covid-19 infection can cause widespread blood vessel dysfunction, or endothelial dysfunction, which can then contribute to erectile dysfunction, said the researchers from the University of Miami.Endothelial dysfunction is a condition in which the lining of the small blood vessels fails to perform all of its functions normally. As a result, the tissues supplied by those vessels could undergo damage.The team found that Covid-19 was present in the penile tissue of both men who had been infected, but not in the men with no history of the virus. The men had been infected six and eight months prior, respectively. These men had evidence of endothelial dysfunction, while the men who had been free of the virus did not. The findings, of the pilot study, are published in the World Journal of Men's Health."Our research shows that Covid-19 can cause widespread endothelial dysfunction in organ systems beyond the lungs and kidneys. The underlying endothelial dysfunction that happens because of Covid-19 can enter the endothelial cells and affect many organs, including the penis," said Ranjith Ramasamy, Associate Professor at the varsity."In our pilot study, we found that men who previously did not complain of erectile dysfunction developed pretty severe erectile dysfunction after the onset of Covid-19 infection," Ramasamy added.The team collected penile tissue from two men with a history of Covid-19 infection who underwent penile prosthesis surgery for erectile dysfunction. One of the men was hospitalised for Covid-19, while the other patient only had mild symptoms when he contracted the virus.The researchers also collected tissue from two additional men with no history of Covid-19 infection undergoing the same surgery for erectile dysfunction. The investigators analysed all the tissue samples for not only evidence of the virus but also endothelial dysfunction.Similar to other Covid-19 related complications, widespread infection and subsequent endothelial dysfunction could result in erectile dysfunction, and its worsening could be due to the virus's presence in the penile tissue itself, the researchers said.--IANSrvt/ash
New York, May 9 (IANS) Men with a common form of hormone-sensitive hair loss are more prone to being hospitalised and at risk for ICU admission due to Covid-19, researchers have found.Androgenetic alopecia is a condition of permanent hair loss from the scalp, causing baldness.The study, led by researchers at US-based biotechnology company Applied Biology, found association between the androgen receptor (AR) gene and Covid-19. Among men hospitalised with Covid, 79 per cent had androgenetic alopecia compared to 31-53 per cent that would be expected in a similar aged match population, the results showed.The team found that androgenetic alopecia is controlled by variations in the AR gene, which affects how sensitive the body is to androgens (hormones such as testosterone). In addition, an enzyme called TMPRSS2, which is key to Covid-19 infection, is also androgen sensitive and may be affected by variations in the AR gene. They also identified a region located in the AR gene associated with both androgen sensitivity and androgenetic alopecia.For the study, the team conducted a genetic analysis of 65 men hospitalised with Covid. They found that men with certain structural differences in the AR gene were more likely to develop severe Covid, than others.The differences "could be used as a biomarker to help identify male Covid-19 patients most at risk for ICU admissions", said Andy Goren, Chief Medical Officer, at Applied Biology."The identification of a biomarker connected with the androgen receptor is another piece of evidence highlighting the important role of androgens in Covid-19 disease severity," Goren added.The findings were presented at the two-day EADV's 2021 Spring Symposium held online from May 6-7.The research explores a promising new therapy for Covid-19 using a novel androgen receptor antagonist to regulate TMPRSS2 expression and possibly treat Covid-19 patients. The results of this study were submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.--IANSrvt/ksk/
Mumbai, May 5 (IANS) A year after its launch, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)'s mental health helpline clocked over 72,000 calls, with a majority from men, pertaining to job security and health during the Covid-19 pandemic, an official said here on Wednesday.The "BMC-Mpower1on1", a 24X7 helpline, received calls on a variety of issues ranging from jobs to academics, and fear of contracting Covid to depression.A whopping 70 per cent of the callers were males, breaking the stereotype that men are unable to express themselves as freely as women.Around 25 per cent of the calls were from those experiencing anxiety and stress-related to jobs, careers, getting infected by coronavirus, and examinations.Another 10 per cent of the callers complained of depression, low moods, bouts of sadness and hopelessness, while 8 per cent raised relationship concerns with family members or life-partners.The callers' age ranged between 18-85 years but the maximum, 53 per cent, fell in the youth category - 26-40 age group, followed by the youngsters in 18-25 age group who accounted for 28 per cent, while those bordering the senior category above 55 years were 5 per cent.The callers hailed from all walks of life including corporate employees, farmers, teachers and students who sought assistance from the helpline from Mpower's professional mental health counsellors.Though it was launched to address the problems of Maharashtra people, there were many who called from Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Lucknow, besides maximum callers from Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad and Solapur in this state.Giving an indicator of the pandemic panic, Mpower's data showed that in the first Covid wave in 2020, the number of callers peaked to 40 percent during the April-May (2020) and availed the services in English, Hindi and Marathi.Mpower Chairperson Neerja Birla said that mental health has always been a grave concern in India, but it was only during the pandemic last year that the crisis came to the fore and people opened up about their struggles."Through the helpline, we gave India a 'listening ear', a platform to unleash their bottled-up feelings and ensure that all could get the help they sought. From the findings, we shall resolve towards making mental healthcare more accessible all over India," she said.The helpline was launched in April 2020 by the BMC and the Maharashtra government and served people during the lockdown when most people were cooped up indoors, without private time/space, or other types of freedom.--IANSqn/vd
Amroha/Bijnor (UP), May 2 (IANS) In a tragic development, two newly married men died of Covid symptoms within days of getting married.A 28-year-old man passed away within days of his marriage due to Covid.The groom got married on Tuesday night and died on Friday night.He complained of high fever and Covid-like symptoms.The groom belonged to Pakbara village and his wife is a resident of Gajraula police station area.In a separate incident, Arjun Kumar, a resident of Jaatan locality in Bijnor district, died after suffering from 'high fever'. He had got married on April 25.According to Kumar's family, the wedding took place with all the necessary Covid-19 protocols in place and only a few close relatives were invited.Kumar had fever and breathing difficulties and was admitted to a local hospital where he died during treatment.Bijnor district magistrate Ramakant Pandey said, "We have strictly instructed all the owners of banquet halls hosting wedding receptions to follow the Covid-19 norms. Our teams are monitoring the events so that there are no violations during the wedding season."--IANSamita/skp/
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