Two recent UK studies suggest that long Covid has the most significant impact on middle-aged women. Researchers claim that symptoms for women in this group are far worse and tend to last much longer than for people in other age groups.
After being treated in hospital for Covid-19, middle-aged women continue to experience a range of symptoms for many months, according to the data. However, experts have said there does not appear to be any correlation with the severity of the infection itself. Some believe that part of the issue is how women's bodies fight off the infection.
A range of continued symptoms months after hospital treatment
The studies have shown that women in this group continued to suffer a range of symptoms after hospital treatment for Covid. These symptoms include intense fatigue, breathlessness, anxiety, and muscle pain, among others.
As part of a study carried out by the University of Leicester, more than 1,000 patients were monitored. These were people who had been hospitalised with Covid in the past year. The research showed that up to 70% had not made a full recovery from the infection after being out of hospital for an average of five months.
Another study was carried out by the University of Glasgow, which suggested women under the age of 50 were far more likely to experience severe symptoms than men in the same age group. In fact, researchers claimed that seven months after leaving hospital following Covid treatment, women under 50 were seven times more likely to experience severe symptoms.
Impact on the lives of those affected
The studies also showed how long Covid was having a continued negative impact on the lives of those affected. Figures show that 18% of people had been unable to return to work because of the symptoms while 19% had to change jobs because of their health.
The severity of the symptoms months after being treated in hospital for Covid meant that many struggled to resume their normal day-to-day lives because of the ongoing issues.
It was concluded from the studies that the people most likely to be heavily impacted by long Covid were white females aged between 40 and 60 years. In addition, researchers said that it was likely to be those who already had at least two underlying health conditions and had been put on a ventilator during their time in hospital.
One expert did point out that there could be other reasons behind the findings. One of these is that women in older age groups were more likely to die from Covid while middle-aged women were more likely to survive but with more extreme symptoms. Also, the immune response for women is different from that of men, which he claimed also contributed to the findings.