Long-term COVID-effects affect well-educated women in particular, according to Danish study

Loïc Padovani
January 20th, 2023

For a few Danes, the pandemic is still having a big impact on their life (photo: novanthealth.org)

The corona pandemic isn’t over for many Danes. According to a study co-authored by Central Denmark Region and Aarhus University Hospital, 448 patients are still receiving treatment for long-COVID complications at the city’s biggest hospital.

More than 75 percent are women aged 30-70. The majority report being dogged by mental fatigue and it is impacting their ability to function.

Particularly well-educated women
Not only that, but many are well-educated women, according to the study’s lead author Lisa Gregersen Østergaard, a who is an occupational therapist.

“What we can see is that we have a preponderance of women who have a high level of education and who are affected to that extent in their everyday lives.

“We don’t know why it is especially women. But we can see that it is largely women in their mid-40s. These are women who are doing well in their careers, and many of them also have children living at home. So it is women who are in a place in life where a lot happens.”

Dizziness and memory issues
“There were a lot of things I couldn’t remember; I couldn’t keep up with an ordinary conversation. I had to ask people to speak very slowly, otherwise I would get dizzy,” PhD student Lise Houe, a 36-year-old mother of two children, who was infected in January 2022, told DR.

“It was as if my brain couldn’t keep up with my surroundings. I have been extremely sensitive to light and sound and general stimuli.”

Nearly 10 percent of the population got late complications
Houe is now on the road to recovery after almost a year of symptoms, and it is estimated that a lot of Danes have been, or still are, struggling with late complications.

The Sundhedsstyrelsen health authority and WHO estimate that about 10 percent of people who contract corona suffer from long-term effects. Normally, they need at least six months to make a full recovery.

However, there is optimism among health professionals that the number of sufferers will fall.


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