According to the most comprehensive study of its kind to date, 63.2 percent of people with long-term Covid-19, or nearly two in three, are women. 6.2% of people with Covid-19 have infection symptoms that last at least three months. 15% of people with long-term Covid-19 have one or more persistent symptoms for at least a year.
Respiratory problems (3.7%), persistent fatigue (3.2%), muscle aches, mood swings, and cognitive disturbances (2.2%), are the most common symptoms. The study found that the risk of long Covid-19 is higher in people who were hospitalized due to the coronavirus, particularly those who were admitted to an intensive care unit for an extended period of time.
The researchers, led by Dr Sarah Wolf Hanson of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, examined data from approximately 1.2 million people aged 4 to 66 years from 22 countries who had developed symptomatic Covid-19 in 2020-21.
They discovered that women over the age of 20 had the highest proportion of long-standing Covid-19, with symptoms lasting at least three months after initial infection (10.6%, or one in ten), compared to about half of men of the same age (5.4%) and far fewer children, adolescents, and young people up to the age of 20 (2.8%).
The estimated mean duration of long Covid-19 symptoms for those who were hospitalized during the acute infection was nine months and four months for those who did not require hospitalization.