The Double Edge Sword of Testosterone’s Role in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Johnny S. Younis, Karl Skorecki, Zaid Abassi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


COVID-19 is a complex disease with a multifaceted set of disturbances involving several mechanisms of health and disease in the human body. Sex hormones, estrogen, and testosterone, seem to play a major role in its pathogenesis, development, spread, severity, and mortalities. Examination of factors such as age, gender, ethnic background, genetic prevalence, and existing co-morbidities, may disclose the mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2 infection, morbidity, and mortality, paving the way for COVID-19 amelioration and substantial flattening of the infection curve. In this mini-review, we focus on the role of testosterone through a discussion of the intricate mechanisms of disease development and deterioration. Accumulated evidence suggests that there are links between high level (normal male level) as well as low level (age-related hypogonadism) testosterone in disease progression and expansion, supporting its role as a double-edged sword. Unresolved questions point to the essential need for further targeted studies to substantiate these contrasting mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number607179
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
StatePublished - 16 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Younis, Skorecki and Abassi.


  • ACE2
  • COVID-19
  • MPRSS2
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • age-related
  • hypogonadism
  • testosterone


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