CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new study from the Mayo Clinic found that women are more likely to experience long-term symptoms of COVID-19, also known as "post-COVID syndrome." That's when people have lingering symptoms of COVID-19 for months, even more than a year, after getting infected.
Out of the first 108 patients in their care, researchers found that 75% of long haulers were women. Researchers think it could have something to do with how different bodies fight the virus. Previous studies showed that women often have a stronger immune response compared to men.
So what does that have to do with long-term symptoms? Let's connect the dots.
That stronger immune response is a good thing, at first. Researchers said that active immune response generally helps get them through the initial, or acute, COVID infection better than men, making them more likely to stay out of the hospital. But they think that immune response then stays heightened.
Doctors think that some women's immune systems remain heightened for months, which essentially leads to the body attacking itself.
"I think women can really handle the acute COVID probably better than men, their immune system can," said Dr. Ryan Hurt, head of Mayo's post-COVID research and clinical efforts. "But that really pronounced immune response may also linger on longer than it should."
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