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Two small studies published recently suggested most men hospitalised with COVID-19 are bald, generating headlines around the world.

While this may sound strange, science does offer a plausible explanation.

Male pattern baldness is associated with high levels of male sex hormones called androgens. And androgens seem to play an important role in the entry of SARS-CoV-2, the that causes COVID-19, into cells.

So it’s possible high levels of androgens might increase the risk of severe infection and death from COVID-19.

This hypothesis is important to identify people at risk and raises the possibility of new treatment strategies