Researchers at Johnson and Johnson’s Office of the Chief Physician for Women’s Health analyzed data from a study of 1.3 million patients.
The findings, published in the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion on Tuesday, show that women are more likely than men to be exposed to COVID-22.
“Knowledge of the main gender differences of COVID-19 is critical to identifying effective therapies and public health interventions that address and are sensitive to the potential differential treatment needs of both sexes,” the authors said. news release.
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Prolonged COVID occurs in patients who have cleared the infection when symptoms persist for more than four weeks after recovery. In some cases, these symptoms may persist for months or even years.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, patients may experience a variety of long-term symptoms, such as fatigue, difficulty breathing, headaches, dizziness, joint and muscle pain, and loss of taste and smell.
It is not known what causes people to develop chronic KOVID, but there are several theories among experts, including a long-lasting virus in the body, viral damage to the nervous system, and the fact that the immune system remains active after infection.
The study found that common symptoms for women within four weeks of positive testing include ear, nose and throat (ENT) problems; muscle aches and pains; mental or mood disorders such as shortness of breath and depression.
At the same time, men were more prone to kidney damage, such as acute kidney injury.
Symptoms during COVID-19 infection varied not only between men and women, but also after prolonged COVID onset.
For women, they had higher rates of long-term symptoms, including fatigue; ENT; gastrointestinal tract; neurological; skin and psychiatric and / or mood disorders.
In women, long-term ENT symptoms were at least twice as high and symptoms of gastrointestinal disease were 60% greater.
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Men, on the other hand, had higher rates of kidney disease, as well as endocrine disorders, including diabetes.
Several previous studies have examined differences in hospitalization, ICU hospitalization, and mortality from COVID-19.
However, the researchers noted that only 35 of the more than 600,000 articles analyzed for the study, published between December 2019 and June 2021, provided enough information about COVID-19 symptoms and their aftermath to understand how men and women experience the disease. The disease is different.
“Unfortunately, most studies have not evaluated or reported granular data on gender, which has limited clinical understanding of gender that may affect treatment,” they wrote.
It is not known why women are more susceptible to prolonged COVID than men, but the authors suggest that this may be due to differences in how women’s immune systems respond to infection than men.
“Women develop rapid and strong innate and adaptive immune responses that can protect them from primary infection and severity,” they wrote. “However, the same difference can make women vulnerable to long-term autoimmune diseases.”
In addition, the team said that women may be at higher risk for COVID-19 because some professions, such as nursing and education, are mostly made up of women, which in turn can lead to their COVID-19 lasting longer.
In addition, “there may be gender disparities in access to care that may affect the natural history of the disease, leading to further complications and [aftereffects]», – the authors write in the release.
The team hopes that more researchers will include more information about COVID-19 symptoms and segregated effects by gender, if further research is done on how men and women are affected and if different treatments are needed.
The authors did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.
Dr. Roberto Herrera contributed to this report.
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