• A new study has suggested reasons why men seem to be more vulnerable to Covid-19 than women.
• The role of enzyme ACE2 in Covid-19 is already established: It responds to the novel coronavirus and enables it to infect the human cell. The new, large study of several thousand patients found men have higher concentrations of ACE2 in their blood than women.
• The researchers measured ACE2 concentrations in blood samples from several thousand heart failure patients from 11 European countries.
• The study also found that heart failure patients taking a certain class of drugs (called RAAS inhibitors) did not have higher concentrations of ACE2 in their blood.
• Some recent research had suggested that RAAS inhibitors might increase ACE2 concentrations in blood plasma, thereby increasing the risk of Covid-19 for cardiovascular patients taking these drugs, but the new study indicates that this is not the case.
Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech
Prelims level: Enzyme ACE2 in blood
Mains level: Read the newscard