Women Are More Likely to Have This Long-Term COVID Symptom, Study Says
More than half of COVID patients are likely to experience this, most of them being women.
We all know by now that the coronavirus can affect people differently based on a number of factors, like your age or if you're dealing with an underlying medical condition. Even your sex can dictate your COVID experience. In fact, according to new research, there is one long-term COVID symptom that women are more likely to experience: fatigue.
This finding comes from a recent Irish study that observed 128 COVID positive patients who were tested at St. James's Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Researchers found that more than half of these participants (52.3 percent) reported persistent fatigue, even 10 weeks after supposed recovery from infection—no matter how severe their COVID case was.
But while this long-term symptom clearly can affect anyone, it was more prevalent among the women studied. Just a little more than half (54 percent) of the patients were women, yet they accounted for two-thirds (67 percent) of those who reported persistent fatigue.
Whether or not the participants had been hospitalized for the coronavirus did not affect their likelihood of experiencing fatigue. According to the study, only 71 of the 128 participants were admitted to the hospital, while 57 were not.
"Fatigue was found to occur independent of admission to hospital, affecting both groups equally," study co-author Liam Townsend, PhD, infectious disease doctor at St James's Hospital, said in a statement.
Additionally, in a recent survey of 1,567 long-haulers (people with long-term coronavirus symptoms) from Survivor Corps—a Facebook group of COVID-19 survivors—100 percent of respondents reported experiencing fatigue.
This is hardly the first time a similar respiratory virus has resulted in extreme fatigue. Following the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic, which was also caused by a coronavirus, a 2011 study published in the BMC Neurology journal reviewed a subset of patients from Canada who experienced such persistent fatigue that they couldn't even return to work a year after their illness. And of the 22 patients who experienced this, 19 of them were also women.
"There are enormous numbers of patients recovering from SARS-CoV-2 infection worldwide. A lengthy post-infection fatigue burden will impair quality of life and will have significant impact on individuals, employers, and healthcare systems," the study stated. "These important early observations highlight an emerging issue." And if you think you could have battled COVID, check out You Might Have Had COVID If You Had This Symptom in December, Study Finds.