Women are “significantly” more likely than men to suffer from extended Covid and will have dramatically different symptoms, according to a study, highlighting the crucial need for gender-disaggregated studies. Long Covid is a condition in which problems continue for more than four weeks after the initial Covid-19 infection, and occasionally for months.
Researchers from the Johnson & Johnson Office of the Chief Medical Officer Health of Women Team observed females with long Covid presenting with a variety of symptoms including ear, nose, and throat issues, mood disorders, neurological, skin, gastrointestinal, and rheumatological disorders, as well as fatigue.
Male patients, on the other hand, were more prone to develop endocrine illnesses such as diabetes and renal disease. Females had a 22% greater chance of having extended Covid syndrome than males, according to the study published in the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion.
“Knowledge about fundamental sex differences underlying Covid-19 clinical manifestations, disease progression, and health outcomes is critical for the identification and rational design of effective therapies and public health interventions that are inclusive of and sensitive to the potential differential treatment needs of both sexes,” the researchers wrote.
“Variations in immune system function between males and females may be a major cause of sex differences in extended Covid syndrome.” Females have more quick and strong innate and adaptive immune responses, which can shield them from the severity of the initial illness.
This similar difference, however, can make females more prone to long-term autoimmune-related disorders,” they noted. The researchers evaluated 640,634 total papers for the study, totaling 1,393,355 distinct people.
Notably, women may be more vulnerable to the virus in specific occupations, such as nursing and teaching, according to the study. Furthermore, “gender differences in access to care may influence the natural course of the disease, leading to increased problems and sequela.”
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