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Laura Monteonofrio, Maria Cristina Florio, Majd AlGhatrif, Edward G Lakatta, and Maurizio C Capogrossi

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 is frequently characterized by a marked inflammatory response with severe pneumonia and respiratory failure associated with multiorgan involvement. Some risk factors predispose patients to develop a more severe infection and to an increased mortality; among them, advanced age and male gender have been identified as major and independent risk factors for COVID-19 poor outcome. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is strictly involved in COVID-19 because angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the host receptor for SARS-CoV-2 and also converts pro-inflammatory angiotensin (Ang) II into anti-inflammatory Ang(1–7). In this review, we have addressed the effect of aging and gender on RAAS with emphasis on ACE2, pro-inflammatory Ang II/Ang II receptor 1 axis and anti-inflammatory Ang(1–7)/Mas receptor axis.