Clinical data suggest that COVID-19 affects men more seriously than women: San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, supported financially by the Prada Group, will investigate the role played by male sex hormones in this imbalance.
Milan, 27 April 2020 - The Prada Group’s support for the PROTEGGIMI project is the latest example of its commitment to scientific research, with the aim of exploring the role science plays in contemporary society. Coming on the back of the “Human doctors, warrior patients” project, a partnership with the Gianni Bonadonna Foundation to develop innovative cancer treatment and research, the initiative not only coincides with a period of global health crisis – researching why the pandemic predominantly affects men – but also reflects Prada’s forward-looking, original research, which seeks to foster dialogue between neuroscience and culture.
The PROTEGGIMI project, developed by the San Raffaele research hospital in Milan and coordinated by urologist and andrologist Prof. Andrea Salonia, director of the San Raffaele Urological Research Institute and a lecturer at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, will seek to explain the disparity in the impact of COVID-19 on men and women and to assemble a European register of epidemiological data on COVID-19, broken down by sex. The project will also involve various research groups from Italy and across Europe.
According to the latest data, men account for 66% of deaths from COVID-19 in Italy – a percentage that rises as the age bracket gets younger – and they are also more likely to require treatment in intensive care, accounting for 82% of all admissions in the Lombardy region. Sex hormones, and testosterone in particular, could explain this disparity, at least in part.
“It is crucial to be able to examine separate data for men and women”, Prof. Salonia explained, “if we are to understand whether testosterone levels are linked to the severity of the illness, and to assess any long-term impacts on the overall health of men who have recovered from the virus. We hope this research will produce its first results in the next few weeks”.