The length of your fingers may determine how sick you get from COVID-19

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SWANSEA, United Kingdom — Your risk of ending up in the hospital with COVID-19 may literally be in your own hands. A new study finds finger length displays a link to a person’s sex hormone levels. What does this have to do with COVID-19? Researchers at Swansea University say a patient’s testosterone levels play a key role in how sick they get after infection.

Previous studies show that having a longer ring finger is a sign of higher testosterone levels in the womb. On the other hand, a longer index finger signals higher levels of estrogen. Typically, men have longer ring fingers and women have longer index fingers.

The new study examined this link between the sex hormones before birth and during puberty and the rate of COVID hospitalizations. Their findings reveal that people with “feminized” short little fingers in comparison to their other digits end up suffering more severe cases of COVID-19. Moreover, people who have larger size differences between the fingers on their left and right hands are at even greater risk.

The link between testosterone and COVID

Although most people only experience mild COVID symptoms, the elderly and men are more likely to have a severe case that requires urgent care. This has led scientists to wonder if a man’s testosterone levels play a role in disease severity.

One theory is that high testosterone levels cause COVID to worsen. However, another study links low levels in elderly men to a severe case of the virus.

To figure out which is right, the team examined the size ratios of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th digits on the hands of over 150 people. Fifty-four of these individuals were COVID-19 patients, while the others served as a healthy control group.

Specifically, the results show bigger differences between the 2D:4D and 3D:5D ratios on each person’s hands had a connection to a more severe case of COVID-19.

“Our findings suggest that COVID-19 severity is related to low testosterone and possibly high estrogen in both men and women,” says Professor John Manning in a university release.

“’Feminized’ differences in digit ratios in hospitalized patients supports the view that individuals who have experienced low testosterone and/or high estrogen are prone to severe expression of COVID-19. This may explain why the most at-risk group is elderly males,” the researcher continues. “This is significant because if it is possible to identify more precisely who is likely to be prone severe COVID-19, this would help in targeting vaccination. Right-Left differences in digit ratios (particularly 2D:4D and 3D:5D) may help in this regard.”

Could testosterone drugs defeat the pandemic?

Currently, study authors say there are several trials examining anti-androgen (testosterone) drugs which may help treat COVID-19. At the same time, scientists are also looking at testosterone as a possible anti-viral medication against COVID.

“Our research is helping to add to understanding of Covid-19 and may bring us closer to improving the repertoire of anti-viral drugs, helping to shorten hospital stays and reduce mortality rates,” Prof. Manning adds. “The sample is small but ongoing work has increased the sample. We hope to report further results shortly.”

This isn’t the first study to link finger length to seemingly unrelated topics. A previous study connected children’s finger length to their mother’s income as well as vulnerability to childhood illnesses.

The study is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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  1. Why don’t they question the ‘scientists’ that developed the COVID-19 weapon? They know exactly who and how the virus will attack the body’s systems.

    1. Good one. You’re obviously “the thinker” in the family – keep it up, Champ.

      1. The correct spelling for your lame screen name is “McGillicuddy.” You’re a real thinker as well, Brainiac.

    2. Oh, that is easy. They don’t ask about the development of the Covid 19 bioweapon because you are a moron.

      Does that answer your question?

  2. Confusing article. I have no idea what the optimal size of the ring finger vs. the index finger is for women and for men. Can you just state it clearly? Thank you.

  3. Does this mean we can give people the smith-rock treatment to anyone who mentions toxic masculinity?

    1. Are you talking about the will smith guy who just flushed what is left of his career with his example of toxic masculinity?

  4. There have been 1400 covid studies- cherry pick what you want to hear- this is one of the lamest. Just dont let govt dictate what you must hear see say or do or feel or we’ll all be in a heap of trouble- as in the poor house. They are getting worse at even the basics. Take afgunistan as one example. Or border control. At the top they dont even know their own sex these days, but they want to tell your 5 year old child what you can say at home- like the nazi youth boys from brazil biden style as we all saw in horror in their the sound if music. One thing they are really good at dough er I mean though is taking all our money and making it dissappear really fast by misappropriating it- yes I’m talking covid aid funds. At this rate pu pu putin wont have to worry apout us as a mortal enemy anymore because before the decade is over we’ll all just disappear. We dont care at all about our southern border and who comes in- and I guess being consistent we want ukraine to give up just like the bidens sin afgunistan- hunter did his part there to the tune of $40 million- and yes dear pay day is coming. Soon the bidens will say open borders for everyone- troops come on in. Bennett of israel aldeady did- he even told z to just surrender, like a girl being raped. Boy but is there a double standard somewhere when it comes to israel itself. Surrender isnt in their cards- I think bennetts should give the $8 billion per year and golden domes we give bennett to ukraine instead itself- at least they believe in themselves hard enough to fight. Surrender- the course of the day.

  5. How about just not being fat.
    90% of people dying of this are obese.
    Why are we continuing to avoid the subject?

  6. Finger size compared to what? Not good when after reading an article, you are more confused about the subject matter.

  7. If anyone wanted to make a joke of science, they’d write a paper like this one. Shame on the publishers.

  8. “high testosterone levels cause COVID to worsen,” but elderly men who have low levels of testosterone are also at high risk. Really? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that testosterone levels are not a causation variable. Quack garbage. This article killed some of my brain cells.

  9. Another strike against the vax since so many pro soccer players and soldiers died of heart issues and it would be hard to find a demographic with higher testosterone. Little risk of Covid illness high risk of vax complications.

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