Women under-50 are 50% more likely suffer from Long COVID than men in the same age group, researchers have said.

Long COVID is the name given to the long-term symptoms that some people appear to be suffering from after initially becoming infected by COVID-19.

A team from King’s College London (KCL) have been looking at the condition in more detail and have identified four key reasons why someone with coronavirus may then develop Long COVID.

As well as females aged under 50 being at greater risk of Long Covid, they also found older people, those who were overweight and anyone who experienced more symptoms in the first week of COVID-19 were too.

They also found people who have asthma may also have a slight increased chance of suffering from Long COVID.

The research team one in 20 people who become infected with COVID-19 are likely to still feel the effects of the illness eight weeks later and one in 50 are still struggling after three months.

Long COVID symptoms of include extreme fatigue, ongoing loss of taste or smell, respiratory and cardiovascular problems and mental health issues.

Senior study author Dr Claire Steves, clinical academic from KCL said: “It’s important we use the knowledge we have gained from the first wave in the pandemic to reduce the long-term impact of the second.

In the community:

“This should pave the way for trials of early interventions to reduce the long-term effects. Thanks to the diligent logging of our contributors so far, this research could already pave the way for preventative and treatment strategies for Long-COVID. We urge everyone to join the effort by downloading the app and taking just a minute every day to log your health.”

Professor Tim Spector, COVID Symptom Study lead and Professor of Genetic Epidemiology from KCL added:“COVID-19 is a mild illness for many, but for one in 50 symptoms can persist for longer than 12 weeks. So, it’s important that, as well as worrying about excess deaths, we also need to consider those who will be affected by long COVID if we don’t get the pandemic under control soon.

“As we wait for a vaccine, it is vital that we all work together to stem the spread of coronavirus via lifestyle changes and more rigorous self-isolating with symptoms or positive tests.”

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