Male sex has emerged as a major independent risk factor for severe disease and death from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus–related coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infects cells via the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, a widely distributed cell-surface receptor. In 2 cohorts of patients with heart failure (BIOSTAT-CHF [Biology Study to Tailored Treatment in Chronic Heart Failure]), we recently showed that age-adjusted plasma concentrations of ACE2 are higher in men than in women.
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Nelson, C., Sama, I., Codd, V., Webb, T., Ye, S., Lang, C., Voors, A., Ng, L. & Samani, N. 2020, 'Genetic associations with plasma angiotensin converting enzyme 2 concentration: Potential relevance to COVID-19 risk', Circulation, 142(11), pp. 1117-1119. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.049007