The difference in the finger length of a person's left and right hand may provide important information
about their condition after contracting Covid-19.
Although it is often considered a mild illness in most patients, in some cases Covid can progress to an acute illness, leading to hospitalization
To help inform effective public health measures, it is important to identify those patients
who are at risk of developing severe disease.
This was the subject of
a study involving experts from Swansea University.
During the pandemic, elderly patients and men experienced the worst Covid symptoms
Therefore, experts say that the decline in testosterone in men in later life may be related to
It is believed that the relative length of the fingers, that is, the proportion of the fingers, contains testosterone-related information
Compared to women, men's fifth (little finger) and fourth (ring finger) are longer
than the third (middle finger) and second finger (index finger).
These finger ratios (2D:4D and 3D:5D) are often different in the right and left hands, and this difference may contain information
about testosterone and Covid-19 severity.
Now, Professor John Manning, an expert in finger proportions from the Applied Sports, Technology, Exercise and Medicine (A-STEM) research team, has been working with colleagues at the Medical University of Lodz in Poland to investigate the topic
in more depth.
Their recent paper, published in Frontiers in Public Health, reports a link between
the asymmetry of the left-right digital ratio and Covid-19 hospitalizations.
Professor John Manning said: "The huge difference between left hand and right hand in 2D:4D and 5D:3D is linked to
the severity of Covid-19.
Hopefully, understanding this link can improve our ability to
accurately identify at-risk groups.
Their findings build on a study published earlier this year that explored the severity of Covid-19 and its relationship
to low testosterone and possibly high estrogen in both men and women.
He added: "Our research contributes to a deeper understanding
of the severity of Covid-19.
Hospitalizations are most common in older adults and men, but many older men also experience mild symptoms
"Conversely, youth and women cannot guarantee that the symptoms of the disease are mild
Our research may help identify those most
at risk of hospitalization across age groups.
The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest