Why older men may hold the key to beating COVID

Study suggests that older males who have recovered from COVID have the best antibodies.

US president Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump has made some pretty bold and spurious claims since he beat COVID-19, but can you imagine what he would tweet if his blood was able to help defeat the virus?

A new study suggests that older men who have beaten the coronavirus produce the strongest antibody responses and may be the best candidates for donating plasma for treating COVID-19 patients.

Researchers from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that as well as older men, those who had more severe cases of COVID-19 were also likely to have high levels of antibodies that can protect against the disease.

The findings suggest that older males who have recovered from COVID-19 after being hospitalised are the best candidates for donating plasma.

Doctors have been using plasma (the part of blood that contains antibodies) from recovered COVID-19 patients to treat those who currently have the virus and as a possible preventative measure.

“We propose that sex, age, and severity of disease should be used to guide the selection of donors for convalescent plasma transfer studies, because we found that these were significant patient characteristics that not only predicted the amount of antibody but the quality of that antibody,” explained the study’s lead author Professor Sabra Klein.

The researchers tested the blood of 126 COVID-19 survivors and found high variability in their antibody levels and the ability of those antibodies to neutralise the virus.

Three factors were associated with stronger antibody responses: having been sick enough with COVID-19 to be hospitalised, being older and being male.

“We know that the magnitude of antibody responses correlates with disease severity in other infectious diseases, such as active tuberculosis,” Prof. Klein explained.

Older age and male sex, which prior studies in both China and Europe have shown are associated with more severe COVID-19, were also associated with stronger antibody responses, though these links were weaker than for hospitalisation status.

Last month, however, a US study found that age was not the dominant factor in patients likely to suffer the worst COVID-19 symptoms, but rather chronic conditions associated with ageing.

That study found that people with the virus were six times more likely to be hospitalised if they had underlying health conditions than those without health conditions.

While age is still a determining factor when it comes to COVID-19 morbidity, healthy older people are more likely to experience milder symptoms, according to that research.

Are you an older male? Do you donate blood?

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    COMMENTS

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    Winston Smith
    28th Oct 2020
    9:49am
    "Are you an older male? Do you donate blood?"

    Normally yes, but here in Victoria at least over 70 year olds have been stopped from donating this year BECAUSE of CIVID-19.
    Winston Smith
    28th Oct 2020
    4:05pm
    UPDATE!!

    I've just received an email from the Blood Bank telling me they want me back!
    Al
    28th Oct 2020
    10:41am
    Trump/Covid 19. I don't believe he was ever positive, just one of his immoral games. Also trump, his doctors, the hospital have never revealed any information whatever on his 'positive' and his 'recovery'. IMHO even more gross around 80,000 Americans are being reported positive every day and deaths around 800-900 every day and not declining but he still keeps claiming 'we have turned the corner' etc., all part of his lies, and experts who are game enough to speak up say that the USA has absolutely not turned the corner, it's getting worse.
    leek
    28th Oct 2020
    10:53am
    I have a friend who lives in Georgia, which is very Pro Trump. She reckons that they have the virus a lot because they test more than any other country(As Trump says), she also reckons that there is hardly anybody in hospitals and hardly anybody dying.

    She doesn't realise that their country will hold everybody else back from opening up. Pretty sure we won't be allowed to go to the US anytime soon. I certainly don't want to go there
    until there is a Vaccine.
    AND we will not allow the Americains to come here either.
    The Thinker
    28th Oct 2020
    12:42pm
    I agree that he had the virus but he is using the scam to receive votes from the religious groups.
    CountryCatkin
    28th Oct 2020
    11:50am
    She would have to be pro Trump to believe that...
    Next thing we’ll hear is that he is the new Messiah!
    Al
    28th Oct 2020
    2:19pm
    Reply to the thinker; "...she doesn't realise that their country will hold everybody else back from opening up."

    A few days ago on a different forum (located in Asia, mostly Western contributors) this post, in response to many posts about Covid 19 and about the US economy;

    'It will take many years for Americans to forgive the rest of the
    world for the damage the world has done to the USA, be warned'.
    CountryCatkin
    28th Oct 2020
    11:50am
    She would have to be pro Trump to believe that...
    Next thing we’ll hear is that he is the new Messiah!
    Russell
    28th Oct 2020
    11:55am
    If it is true about Trumps blood then how about someone cut his throat and bottle his blood.
    Al
    28th Oct 2020
    12:26pm
    But hopefully nobody would be crazy enough to drink his blood, to risky that the drinker would become a Guinness book of records liar...
    Snowflake
    28th Oct 2020
    12:27pm
    The idiot will be gone soon, with a bit of luck.
    diamond
    28th Oct 2020
    3:52pm
    Then we will have the idiot who thinks his opponent is George Bush.
    maxchugg
    28th Oct 2020
    12:33pm
    I'm certainly no fan of Trump, but I think that Trump Derangement Syndrome which prevents doctors from using hydroxychloroquine is ridiculous. I am confident that no GP would prescribe this drug without believing it to be safe and effective.
    The story being promoted and not refuted to the best of my knowledge is that when hydroxychloroquine was used on a test basis massive doses were given which killed some people, also that to be effective it needs to be given with zinc at the early stages, not in the latter stages as is claimed by the critics of the tests.
    Also, it is not unreasonable to suspect the motives of the drug companies. If an existing medicine is suitable there isn't a lot of profit to be made, a new drug will produce massive income for a very long time.
    II am going to break the first of Rumpole's laws and ask a question to which I do not know the answer. - by what percentage has the price of Viagra fallen since the patents expired?
    Rational objections to the argument I have presented will be welcome, if ever the truth was needed it is now.
    Winston Smith
    28th Oct 2020
    1:10pm
    Australian doctors aren't prevented from using HCQ, despite the claims of conspiracy nutters to the contrary. COVID is an inflammatory disease, and HCQ is one of many drugs that will ease that symptom. It does have potentially serious side effects. It is used when the doctor thinks it's the best option. It CANNOT cure COVID-19. It only treats the symptoms.
    maxchugg
    28th Oct 2020
    6:55pm
    Winston Smith’s comment that “Australian doctors aren’t prevented from HCQ despite the claims of conspiracy nutters” is called into question by the following sites:
    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/doctors-banned-from-prescribing-potential-covid-19-drug-20200408-p54ic1.html
    https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6193735046001
    https://www.tga.gov.au/alert/new-restrictions-prescribing-hydroxychloroquine-covid-19
    In France, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, the leader of Debout la France party, said “pressure came from pharmaceutical labs and vaccine promoters looking to earn billions if other treatments are banned." It also claims that objections to the use of HCQ are fake:
    https://freewestmedia.com/2020/05/29/australian-doctors-denounce-anti-hydroxychloroquine-study-as-fake/
    https://www.westernjournal.com/docs-aussie-state-banned-prescribing-drug-trump-mentioned-covid-face-hefty-fine/
    Where doctors in Queensland wish to use HCQ there are severe restrictions:
    https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers/prescribing-dispensing-or-supply-of-hydroxychloroquine-direction
    diamond
    29th Oct 2020
    12:02am
    Max, How dare you question Winston's comment. He is a self styled expert on everything.
    diamond
    29th Oct 2020
    7:25am
    https://www.tga.gov.au/alert/amendments-new-restrictions-prescribing-hydroxychloroquine-covid-19

    https://www.tga.gov.au/alert/amendments-new-restrictions-prescribing-hydroxychloroquine-covid-19

    https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers/prescribing-dispensing-or-supply-of-hydroxychloroquine-direction

    https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/communities-of-practice/Pages/guide-antiviral-therapy.aspx
    verenice coffee
    28th Oct 2020
    1:53pm
    used to when i was in a stable location and wernt on a stack of prescription drugs
    Tanker
    28th Oct 2020
    3:23pm
    There are now serious question being raised about how long the immunity actually lasts. Information coming out of the U.K> suggests it is very short term.
    There is so much that is unknown about this virus that we are, to a large extent, still in the dark about its effects and how we will cope with it in the long term.
    Al
    28th Oct 2020
    3:50pm
    I think your referring to an article I read. If it's the same, the article was full of contradictions and quoted 'facts' that cannot yet be 'fact's because there not yet been anywhere near enough progress/time expired in the development. checking or usage of the serum.

    IMHO there's plenty of positive results/comments in regard to the development of several vaccines. Sure the mass checking of 1 or 2 candidates was stopped temporarily whilst things were checked, in each case it was easily established that the candidates being checked posed no danger and the testing proceeded.

    Further, if it becomes reality that the vaccines work but need a booster every 1, 2 ? years, then so be it.

    One point I suggest needs urgent input and announcements by the WHO World Health Organization is how the Vaccine Certificate will be issued, and how airport authorities (and others) will be able to quickly check against an always up to date global database, whether pending passengers have been vaccinated.

    Why? It seems to me that the world wants, urgently to get back to mass international travel and a vaccine certification is the key.

    So far the WHO has been quiet, but not surprising given their slowness to get involved / make valuable announcements / share progress etc., right through the whole pandemic. I'm not surprised they have received so much criticism.
    KSS
    29th Oct 2020
    8:09am
    Tanker most of the reports on imunity are based on the rapid reduction of antibodies in the blood. Whilst this is true, it is not the whole story for immunity. You also need to look at T and B cells but this is much harder to do than a simple pinprick test. It does however call into question herd immunity from direct infection. Vaccines work differently. There is still much to do in this area.
    billy boy
    28th Oct 2020
    3:59pm
    who'd want, this narcissists of a pigs blood ?
    Mark
    28th Oct 2020
    4:01pm
    How great would that be to have a little bit of Trump coursing through my veins.
    Cosmo
    28th Oct 2020
    4:09pm
    Draining his blood could overcome a lot more problems than the Covid19 virus!
    Mark
    28th Oct 2020
    4:26pm
    There is much criticism of the President in the replies to this article. It would appear that you are simply repeating ‘parrot fashion” what you hear in the media.
    Maybe take the time to examine the accomplishments of this President over his four years and you may change your mind. But of course this takes time and effort and it is much easier to simply follow the sheep in thoughtless criticism.
    Cosmo
    28th Oct 2020
    4:29pm
    Mark, Trump claimed to 'make America great again.' How would you quantify that the USA is a greater or better place now than it was four years ago?
    Mark
    28th Oct 2020
    5:05pm
    Replying to Cosmo
    You may not have seen the news but a little thing called COVID-19 has wrecked the economies of most western countries.
    Prior to this the USA was booming economically and many social policies such as criminal justice reform (among other) had been introduced.
    Before you blame Trump for the Covid response have a look at what Cuomo did to NY. It was Dan Andrews on steroids.
    Do yourself a favor and do some research.
    diamond
    28th Oct 2020
    5:07pm
    I hear from people with family in the States that they are happy with what Trump has achieved but of course the media doesn't want that publicised.
    Cosmo
    28th Oct 2020
    5:22pm
    The USA's Covid 19 national death toll is the equivalent to Australia having 17,387 Covid deaths or around nineteen times greater than Australia's national death toll per capita. How great is that? If Trump had no influence over this then he's not doing his job.
    Jim
    28th Oct 2020
    5:45pm
    I must admit to not knowing much about the American political system, but I was under the impression that similar to Australia the states made the decision on how they handled the virus in their state, does anyone know if this is the case, if it is where is the criticism of the states, I did see a response from one of the leaders in New York who declared Trump was not going to tell him what to do, I don’t know he was, but he seemed to be speaking with some authority.
    Cosmo
    28th Oct 2020
    6:06pm
    Jim you are correct but the Feds have control over the external borders and quarantine; they have overall control of the health system and they have influence over the availability of medical equipment, testing capacity and without any doubt, influence over the Republican States and their governors. The Feds also have a major say in financial assistance to workers and infected people who are forced to work spread the virus. You might recall Trump saying he was going to 'tell his people to reduce testing'. So if he has no influence, how was he going to do this?
    All Covid cases in both Australian and the USA were imported and if Australia is any example it has been inbound passengers who have been the largest source of infection.
    If you carry your assumption to its conclusion then I assume you are saying too that Morrison can take no credit for Australia's outstanding Covid performance compared with most other countries?
    Jim
    28th Oct 2020
    7:29pm
    Cosmo, I am saying the exact opposite, I think Morrison has done a fantastic job regarding the running of the country, I also think our state Premier’s have done a great job compared to the rest of the world, what happened in Victoria could have happened in any other state and could still happen, although I think we are far better prepared now than we were at the beginning of all of this, for Trump’s part in America I think he has said some stupid things, but all of the governors of the 50 states must bear some of the responsibility, I don’t know enough about the political alliance in each of the states, is there a Republican majority or a Democrat majority?
    Viking
    28th Oct 2020
    8:12pm
    Jim, the majority of US States are Republican which is reflected in the Republican Senate majority.

    Mark, would you say that a country where civil unrest, insurrection and civil war are openly discussed, armed mobs demonstrate unchallenged in the streets and the President encourages dissent and says he will not accept the democratic decision of the people in an election are the hallmark of a nation on the way to greatness? Where the President employs a crony to disable the postal sorting capacity to invalidate votes; where arms and ammunition sales are outstripping supply because people are scared of armed riots? It sounds to me more like the sort of country which in the past the US would have invaded to restore democracy. And before you accuse me of not doing my research, I lived and worked in the USA, read various US newsletters daily and follow both US ABC and PBS news.
    Virginia
    29th Oct 2020
    3:55pm
    I Jus have to see and hear the man to know what he is and I can't say it here/
    Don't need and polititions or Journos to tell me... I see and hear for myself.
    Frankly
    28th Oct 2020
    4:53pm
    It's interesting, the choice is between Trump, a healthy alpha male or Biden, the opposite. Wearing a mask mostly he appears weak, old and afraid. Who will the Americans choose? The leader of a country is a reflection of the population. Many Americans have already left the US and I feel many more will follow soon.
    Fedup
    28th Oct 2020
    9:26pm
    “The leader of a country is a reflection of the population.” Correct.
    Which means about half the population of the US are ratbag nut jobs. What a sick country. COVID isn’t their biggest problem.

    And I don’t believe Trump ever had COVID. I reckon it was a publicity stunt to stop the media talking about his disastrous debate performance and the fact that he is losing in the polls.
    skinner
    28th Oct 2020
    8:55pm
    Trump lies about EVERYTHING including supposedly getting & being cured of Covid! He NEVER had it!
    Stone the Crows
    28th Oct 2020
    11:35pm
    Trump positive got to be kidding never FAKE news
    BillF2
    29th Oct 2020
    12:27am
    Another study into the bleeding obvious. Wouldn't it be nice if all these well paid researchers actually devoted some time into finding ways to kill off the covid-19 virus? Given that no nation, let alone states within nations (think Australia), wants to cooperate with any other nation (or state) in defeating the virus, then one has to ask how serious they all are? With maybe the exception of Sweden and Iceland, they all seem to prefer and enjoy being on a power trip rather than doing everything possible for the health and welfare of their citizens. And their excuse for doing absolutely nothing - "we are waiting for a vaccine!" What a load of hypocritical ba***rds! And to think we vote for, and pay for these oxygen wasters.
    KSS
    29th Oct 2020
    8:11am
    You really need to look at Sweden if you thi nk they are the beacon for all other in COVID-19. They have NOT done as well as some seem to think. And they are suffering because of it.
    Ducky
    29th Oct 2020
    6:26am
    Did he really have Covid 19 or was it just another one of his stupid games.
    Virginia
    29th Oct 2020
    3:48pm
    He didn't have it
    Fake News


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