A new Oxford University paper found that COVID-19 patients receiving estrogen hormone replacement therapy within six months of being diagnosed saw a reduction in mortality from the disease.
The paper, published in the Oxford University Press’ peer-reviewed medical journal Family Practice, identified a group of 1,863,478 women over 18 in England and studied the efficacy of hormone replacement therapy among the nearly 5,500 women in the group that were diagnosed with COVID-19, eventually finding that estrogen hormone replacement therapy was associated with a 78% reduction in mortality from COVID-19.
Estrogen is a category of hormone responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system – and it can be pointed to as protective against COVID-19 infection and severity of symptoms, the paper states. The paper further concluded that additional work is needed to investigate the hypothesis that estrogens may contribute a protective effect against COVID-19 severity.
“This study supports the theory that estrogen may offer some protection against severe COVID-19,” said the paper’s co-author Christopher Wilcox from the Primary Care and Population Health department at the University of Southampton. “We hope that this study can provide reassurance to patients and clinicians that there is no indication to stop hormone replacement therapy because of the pandemic.”
A recent review of sex differences in COVID-19, using data from 38 countries, found mortality in men was 1.7 times higher than in women. Further, women with higher estrogen levels, such as younger women, are less likely to experience COVID-19 complications.