Long Covid: women are more exposed than men to persistent infection, specific symptoms revealed by gender

Women are significantly more likely than men to experience symptoms of long Covid, according to a new scientific study.

Researchers at Johnson & Johnson analyzed data from 1.3 million patients. At the end of the first elements, the results published in the medical journal Current Medical Research and Opinion allow us to know a little more about the long Covid phenomenon that appeared with the coronavirus pandemic. Journal of Current Medical Research and Opinion is an international peer-reviewed journal specializing in the publication of research on new and existing drugs and therapies, and post-marketing investigations.

It turns out that women are 22% more likely to develop a long Covid than men.

“Knowledge of fundamental gender differences in relation to Covid-19 is crucial for identifying effective therapies and public health interventions that include potential gender differential treatment needs.“, said the authors in a press release.

It’s unclear why women are more susceptible to long Covid than men, but the authors said it could be due to differences in how women’s immune systems respond to infection compared to men’s. .

“Women develop faster and more robust innate and adaptive immune responses, which may protect them from initial infection and severity,” they wrote. “However, this same difference may make women more vulnerable to prolonged autoimmune disease.

Long Covid is diagnosed when patients who have cleared the infection still have symptoms that last more than four weeks after recovery. In some cases, these symptoms can persist for months or even years.

Patients may experience a variety of lingering symptoms, including fatigue, difficulty breathing, headaches, brain fog, joint and muscle pain, and prolonged loss of taste and smell, agencies say. health.

We do not yet know the elements that precisely determine the development of a long Covid, but several hypotheses have been put forward: as the patients would have a persistent virus in the body, the damage to the nerve pathways caused by the virus and the immune system would remain active after the infection.

The study also found that the most common symptoms in women, within four weeks of testing positive, included ear, nose and throat (ENT) problems; muscle aches and pains; shortness of breath and psychiatric or mood disorders such as depression. While men were more likely to have kidney disorders such as acute kidney injury.

Not only were the symptoms during Covid-19 infection different in men and women, but the symptoms were also different after the development of long Covid.

Women are twice as likely to have long-term ENT symptoms and 60% more likely to have gastrointestinal symptoms. In contrast, men had higher rates of kidney disorders as well as endocrine disorders, including diabetes.

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