Women with long Covid syndrome have more symptoms than men

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Females with long Covid-19 syndrome tend to be more symptomatic than males, finds a study.

Long Covid syndrome is defined as persistent symptoms extending beyond 12 weeks after the initial symptoms of acute infection.

During the acute phase of Covid, women were found to have a lower mortality rate than men. But this study indicates that women have a greater likelihood of experiencing long Covid syndrome.

Females were statistically significantly more likely to experience difficulty swallowing, fatigue, chest pain, and palpitations at long-term follow-up, according to the study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Women’s Health.

“Long-term longitudinal studies are needed to fully understand the sex-related pathophysiology of the symptoms and the effects of pharmacological treatment related to long Covid-19,” said the researchers including Giovanna Pela from University of Parma in Italy.

“These studies will be crucial to understanding the natural trajectory of long Covid-19 in order to implement targeted treatment strategies and to prevent bias in treating males and females,” they added.

For the study, the team enrolled 223 patients (89 females and 134 males) who were infected by SARS-CoV-2.

In the acute phase of the illness, females reported the following symptoms more frequently than males: weakness, dysgeusia, anosmia, thoracic pain, palpitations, diarrhoea, and myalgia.

Females were found to be more symptomatic than males (97 per cent vs. 84 per cent).

About 91 per cent of patients evaluated at follow-up after 5 months continued to experience Covid symptoms.

Breathlessness was the most common symptom of long Covid, followed by fatigue.

The findings demonstrated that females were more symptomatic than males not only in the acute phase but also at follow-up, the researchers said.

Sex was found to be an important determinant of long-Covid-19 syndrome because it is a significant predictor of persistent symptoms in females, such as dyspnea, fatigue, chest pain, and palpitations.

“Our results suggest the need for long-term follow-up of these patients from a sex perspective to implement early preventive and personalised therapeutic strategies,” the researchers said.

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