Quick. Take a look at your fingers. You’ll want to remember their lengths, because according to a new study, there’s a correlation between the length of our fingers and COVID-19 symptoms. This incredibly random bit of data is supported by scientific evidence, with finger length suggesting the amount of sex hormones in a person’s body, which can have an impact on the course of the viral infection.

Researchers from Swansea University found that finger length is indicative to testosterone levels, a hormone that plays a key role in the progression of COVID-19. According to previous studies, a longer ring finger in the womb suggests higher testosterone levels, something that’s more common in males. A longer index finger suggests more estrogen, thus being more common in women.

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The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, analyzed a group of participants’ hormone levels at birth and during puberty. These numbers were then cross-referenced with the rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations, revealing that people with short fingers (so called ‘feminized’) and with digits of different lengths on both hands had higher odds of a more severe COVID-19 infection.

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

Further studies into the subject could result in better treatment of the disease, shorter stays at hospitals, and in the development of antiviral drugs, increasing the disease’s options for treatment.

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The length of fingers has long been associated with a variety of interesting facts, from seemingly wild claims of sexual orientation to personality traits. Since sex hormones have a relationship to these, these claims might have a scientific basis after all, even if we don’t yet understand them.

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