Women are more likely to have long Covid than men, scientists say


A review of research into the mysterious condition found females were more at risk of ending up with ear, nose, and throat issues, low mood, skin problems, trouble digesting and painful joints as well as fatigue. However, diabetes and kidney disorders were more prominent side effects of the bug in men.

The researchers from Johnson and Johnson, say their findings highlight a need for facts and figures on the disease among men and women to be collected and analysed separately.

Only by doing this can inequalities in how men and women experience the disease be addressed. For the study, the team looked at existing research which analysed the effects of the disease on 1.3 million people.

They limited it to studies carried out between December 2019 and August 2020 for Covid and to January 2020 to June 2021 for long Covid.

The study is among the first to break down the specific health conditions that occur as a result of Covid-related illness by gender.

Writing in Current Medical Research and Opinion, the authors said: “Knowledge about fundamental sex differences underpinning the clinical manifestations, disease progression, and health outcomes of Covid- 19 is crucial for the identification of effective therapies. Differences in immune system between females and males could be an important driver of sex differences in long Covid.

“Females mount more rapid and robust immune responses, which can protect them from initial infection.

“However, this same difference can render females vulnerable to prolonged autoimmune-related diseases.”


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