Although we had seen that women are more resistant to a Covid infection as compared to men, if a recent study is to be believed, it has been found that women are twice more likely to suffer from long Covid symptoms compared to their male counterparts. It was also found that individuals with a history of autoimmune diseases or depression have an increased chance of experiencing long Covid symptoms.

The study conducted by 23andMe, a genetic testing company, examined 100,000 people who had a Covid infection. Among the study subjects, almost a quarter stated that they experienced long Covid symptoms like breathing issues, fatigue and brain fog for up to a period of 12 weeks.

The study, which was conducted by a self-reported survey, found that while the likelihood of women suffering from long Covid is twice compared to men, they also suffered for a longer duration. Almost half of the women who had long Covid manifested symptoms for six months or more, which meant low productivity, missed work days, and difficulty managing every day tasks .

According to the
Financial Times, Catherine Weldon, associate scientist at 23andMe, and Stella Aslibekyan, genetic epidemiologist say that the reason why women are more severely affected is hormones.

“Scientists know there are similar differences for other kinds of conditions. For example, women are much more likely than men to develop autoimmune conditions such as lupus or multiple sclerosis,” they were quoted saying.

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The researchers explained that the reason for it is that women have two copies of the X chromosome which consist of a large number of immune-related genes. Therefore, immune-responses are higher in women. The study also propounded that a quarter of women going through long Covid experienced disruption in their menstrual cycle.

According to the research, a third of individuals who had long Covid had a history of autoimmune disease. Moreover, it was found that half of those with a history of depression, anxiety or cardiometabolic disease such as heart attacks or diabetes also show increased symptoms of long Covid.

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