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Long-term COVID affects women more, study finds

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Photo of Lúcia Willadino Braga, neuroscientist, research coordinator and president of Sarah Kubitschek
(photo: Carlos Vieira/CB)

“On a daily basis, they had affected planning ability, memory and verbal fluency, in addition to depression and mood disorders”

Lúcia Willadino Braga, neuroscientist, research coordinator and president of Sarah Kubitschek

The novel coronavirus pandemic produces a still countless number of other types of victims: those who suffer permanent sequelae or disorders caused by COVID-19. Unprecedented research around the world reveals that women are more affected than men by the sequelae of the infection. In addition, 91.2% of people who have contracted the disease have memory loss and fatigue, while 8.8% develop other diseases.

The study Long-term neuropsychological manifestations of COVID in hospitalized and non-hospitalized Brazilian patients is coordinated by neuroscientist Lúcia Willadino Braga, president of Sarah Kubitschek Hospital, and was prepared based on the framework of patients from the Federal District. 614 people participated in the research with some type of problem resulting from the disease, even after recovery. In this group, 73% were women and 27% were men.

Among them, all reported memory loss in the months following infection with the new coronavirus. “The scary thing is you get the flu and a week later it goes away. With COVID-19 you go off the charts, but your memory and all of your planning ability is badly affected. And planning is absolutely in everything in life,” emphasizes Lúcia Willadino.

The average age of the patients who participated in the survey was 47 years old. More than half of them were married, had higher education and were active in their careers. The profile, according to the neuroscientist, made the diagnosis easier. “They were professionals who, before COVID-19, were able to perform certain tasks and, after the illness, when they returned to work, they had difficulty performing routine activities,” he comments. he.

Service

The rehabilitation of post-COVID-19 patients on the Sarah Network is free and takes place in all hospital units in the country. To do this, all you have to do is access the website www.sarah.br and click on the “Post-Covid-19 Rehabilitation” sign. A banner with a list of sequelae and disorders caused by the new coronavirus will appear, with the following mention: “To request a service, click here”. The next steps are intuitive on the website.

woman with mask
(picture: pixabay)

Two questions for…

Lucie Willadino Braga

neuroscientist, research coordinator and president of Sarah Kubitschek

Why did you decide to take this step to understand the consequences of COVID-19?

In the first year of the pandemic, requests for care from people with COVID-19 began to represent 30% of all requests for consultations on the Sarah Network. But we didn’t know how to treat people. For this, we needed to find out who these patients were, what type of neuropsychiatric and neuropsychological problem they had, and if there was a relationship with the severity of the COVID-19 condition.

What was discovered?

Of the 614 patients who participated in the survey, 73% were women, and this is not related to women taking better care of their health and seeking more medical care. Women were more affected by neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric problems. On a daily basis, they had affected planning ability, memory and verbal fluency, as well as depression and mood disorders.

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