KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — A study shows that women aged 50 to 60 years are at the highest risk of not recovering for several weeks or months from Covid-19 symptoms, called “long Covid”.
The Guardian yesterday reported that elderly people experience five or more symptoms in a week of contracting the coronavirus, which are also related to prolonged health conditions.
Dr Claire Steves and Prof Tim Spector at King’s College London, who led the study, obtained data from 4,182 COVID Symptom Study app users. The app users, who had positively tested for Covid-19, consistently registered their health updates in the app.
Women were two times as likely to suffer from Covid-19 symptoms that lasted longer than a month, compared to men, until the age of 60, when the risk level evens out for both genders. Women aged 40 to 50 have the risk of experiencing “long Covid” two times more than men of the same age group.
Approximately 22 per cent of people aged more than 70 years suffer from Covid-19 symptoms for four weeks and above, whereas only 10 per cent of people aged from 18 to 49 are likely to face a similar situation.
Women aged 50 to 60 years are eight times more likely to experience lasting symptoms of the disease, compared to patients aged 18 to 30 years.
“This is a similar pattern to what you see in autoimmune diseases,” Spector, who led this study, was quoted as saying.
“Things like rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease and lupus are two to three times more common in women until just before menopause, and then it becomes more similar.”
The different way of the immune system responding to the virus among women and men may have led to this difference, according to Spector.
“There’s certainly a group of long Covid sufferers that have this multi-system immune–like disease, where they get gastrointestinal problems, skin rashes, nerve problems and brain fog – so the whole body is involved rather than just one bit,” said Spector.
Obesity and asthma are some of the other factors which would lead to long Covid, according to this study.