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Of 175 patients (122 men and 53 women) hospitalized for confirmed COVID-19 in Spain, 67% had clinically relevant androgenetic alopecia (AGA). The prevalence of AGA was 79% in man (compared with 31%–53% in age-matched Caucasian men) and 42% in females (compared with the highest prevalence reported in literature of 38% in patients older than 70 years of age).
In this preliminary study, 2 of 3 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 presented with AGA, at a rate greater than the general population. Based on these findings and previous reports of disproportionate COVID-19 mortality in men, the authors hypothesize that an androgen-mediated pathway may be involved in COVID-19 pathogenesis. Along with a previous mouse study in which a 20% protective effect of prophylactic flutamide was demonstrated, anti-androgen therapy may be investigated as potential treatment and prevention of COVID-19.
– InYoung Kim, MD, PhD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Dr Frank Gabrin was the first American physician to die due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2 infection. Dr. Gabrin suffered from androgenetic alopecia and was a long-term survivor of bilateral testicular cancer.1 The association between SARS-CoV-2 infectiveness and the androgen pathway has been previously described.2 Androgen-mediated SARS-CoV-2 vulnerability may help explain the disproportioned mortality rate among men.3 We present further epidemiologic evidence that androgen sensitivity might be associated with severe symptoms leading to hospitalization due to COVID-19.
Androgenetic Alopecia Present in the Majority of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients – The "Gabrin Sign"
J Am Acad Dermatol 2020 May 21;[EPub Ahead of Print], CG Wambier, S Vaño-Galván, J McCoy, A Gomez-Zubiaur, S Herrera, Á Hermosa-Gelbard, OM Moreno-Arrones, N Jiménez-Gómez, A González-Cantero, PF Pascual, G Segurado-Miravalles, J Shapiro, B Pérez-García, A Goren