Background: There are sex differences in vulnerability to Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The coronavirus S protein mediates viral entry into target cells employing the host cellular serine protease TMPRSS2 for S-protein priming. The TMPRSS2 gene expression is responsive to androgen stimulation and it could partially explain sex differences. We hypothesized that men chronically exposed to 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5ARIs) for benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) have a lower risk of hospitalization for COVID-19. Methods: This is a population-based case-control study on consecutive patients positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus who required hospitalization for COVID-19 (cases), age-matched to beneficiaries of the Lombardy Regional Health Service (controls). Data were collected by two high-volume COVID-19 regional centers of Lombardy (Italy). The primary outcome was to compare the prevalence of patients chronically exposed to 5ARIs, who required hospitalization for COVID-19, with the one of controls. Results: Overall, 943 males were enrolled; 45 (4.77%) were exposed to 5ARI. COVID-19 patients aged >55 years under 5ARI treatment were significantly less than expected on the basis of the prevalence of 5ARI treatment among age-matched controls (5.57 vs. 8.14%; P=0.0083, 95% CI: 0.75-3.97%). This disproportion was higher for men aged >65 (7.14 vs. 12.31%; P=0.0001, 95% CI: 2.83-6.97%). Eighteen 5ARIs-patients died; the mean age of men who died was higher than those who did not: 75.98±9.29 vs. 64.78±13.57 (P<0.001). Cox-regression and multivariable models did not show correlation between 5ARIs exposure and protection against intensive care unit admission/death. Conclusions: Men exposed to 5ARIs might be less vulnerable to severe COVID-19, supporting its use in disease prophylaxis.

Impact of chronic exposure to 5-alpha reductase inhibitors on the risk of hospitalization for COVID-19: a case-control study in male population from two COVID-19 regional centers of Lombardy, Italy

Duga S.;Azzolini E.;Buffi N.;Lughezzani G.;Paraboschi E. M.;Cecconi M.;Guazzoni G.;Asselta R.;Aghemo A.;Azzolini E.;Barbic F.;Calatroni M.;Cannata F.;Capretti G. L.;Ceribelli A.;Costa G.;De Santis M.;Ferrante G.;Lanza E.;Lleo A.;Malesci A.;Mazziotti G.;Procopio F.;Reggiani F.;Sandri M. T.;Stainer A.;Vena W.;Voza A.;Beretta S.;Bruno S.;Cremonesi A.;Selmi C.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background: There are sex differences in vulnerability to Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The coronavirus S protein mediates viral entry into target cells employing the host cellular serine protease TMPRSS2 for S-protein priming. The TMPRSS2 gene expression is responsive to androgen stimulation and it could partially explain sex differences. We hypothesized that men chronically exposed to 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5ARIs) for benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) have a lower risk of hospitalization for COVID-19. Methods: This is a population-based case-control study on consecutive patients positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus who required hospitalization for COVID-19 (cases), age-matched to beneficiaries of the Lombardy Regional Health Service (controls). Data were collected by two high-volume COVID-19 regional centers of Lombardy (Italy). The primary outcome was to compare the prevalence of patients chronically exposed to 5ARIs, who required hospitalization for COVID-19, with the one of controls. Results: Overall, 943 males were enrolled; 45 (4.77%) were exposed to 5ARI. COVID-19 patients aged >55 years under 5ARI treatment were significantly less than expected on the basis of the prevalence of 5ARI treatment among age-matched controls (5.57 vs. 8.14%; P=0.0083, 95% CI: 0.75-3.97%). This disproportion was higher for men aged >65 (7.14 vs. 12.31%; P=0.0001, 95% CI: 2.83-6.97%). Eighteen 5ARIs-patients died; the mean age of men who died was higher than those who did not: 75.98±9.29 vs. 64.78±13.57 (P<0.001). Cox-regression and multivariable models did not show correlation between 5ARIs exposure and protection against intensive care unit admission/death. Conclusions: Men exposed to 5ARIs might be less vulnerable to severe COVID-19, supporting its use in disease prophylaxis.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11699/78123
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