A study published in the European Heart Journal recently showed that men have higher levels of an important enzyme in their blood than women, which is used by the new coronavirus to infect cells, which may help explain why men are more susceptible to COVID-19,media reported. It is known that the enzyme, called angiotensin conversion enzyme 2 (ACE2), is located in the heart, kidneys and other organs.
The researchers believe it played a role in the entry of COVID-19 infection into the lungs.
Common ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers do not cause ACE2 concentrations to become higher and therefore do not increase the risk of contracting COVID-19 by taking these drugs.
Adriaan Voors, a professor of cardiology at the University Medical Center in Groningen, the Netherlands, who led the study, said in a statement, “Our results do not support discontinuing these drugs in patients with COVID-19, as previously reported.” “
However, the study has its limitations. It detected the concentration of ACE2 in the plasma, not in the lung tissue. And the patients involved in the study did not have COVID-19, so the researchers could not provide a direct link between the disease process and ACE2 plasma concentration.
Iziah Sama, from UMC Groningen, said: “When we found that one of the strongest biomarkers, ACE2, was much higher in men than in women, I realized that this might explain why men were more likely to die of COVID-19 than women. “
ACE2 is known to exist not only in the heart, kidneys, but also in tissues around the lungs and blood vessels, and particularly high in the testicles.
The scientists speculated that its regulatory effect son in the testicles partly explains why men have higher ACE2 concentrations and why men are more susceptible to COVID-19.
As of May 12, a total of 417,551 cases of new coronary pneumonia had been confirmed worldwide, and the deadly virus had claimed at least 282,707 lives worldwide.