Lingering COVID-19 symptoms affect middle-aged women the worst, according to studies

27 February 2020, Brandenburg, Sieversdorf: ILLUSTRATION: A woman uses a handkerchief (posed photo). As protection against the spread of the novel coronavirus, it is recommended that you blow your nose with disposable tissues and then dispose of them

Two separate studies out of the United Kingdom suggest that middle-aged women suffer the most from long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms.

Researchers at the University of Leicester studied more than 1,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were discharged from UK hospitals in 2020. 70% of those patients didn’t fully recover months after leaving the hospital. Most of those patients affected were middle-aged, White women.

The study has yet to be peer-reviewed.

Another study, from the University of Glasgow, discovered that women, under 50 years old, were seven times more likely to become breathless and twice as likely to report worse fatigue than men of the same age.

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Neither study explained what led to the discrepancy between middle-aged women and other demographics. However, the Glasgow study urged policymakers to fund more research to help find more effective treatments for people with lingering COVID-19 symptoms.

Researchers are continuing to study the effects of COVID-19 symptoms and people with long-lasting symptoms, or long-haulers.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, long-haul symptoms typically include chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, lingering headaches, loss of taste and smell, persistent rashes, joint pain and brain fog.

The CDC said, "While most persons with COVID-19 recover and return to normal health, some patients can have symptoms that can last for weeks or even months after recovery from acute illness."

According to a study from the National Institutes of Health, researchers found evidence to suggest that brain damage may be a product of COVID-19. Researchers uncovered blood vessel damage and inflammation in the brains of 19 deceased COVID-19 patients.

Fauci noted at a White House coronavirus briefing on Feb. 24 that work at the NIH had begun thanks to more than $1 billion provided by Congress for COVID-related medical research. Government scientists are looking to enlist doctors and research institutions around the country in the effort to learn about "long-haul" COVID-19.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.