Is coronavirus different for women?
We know that many health issues are different for women than for men. The symptoms of a heart attack are different for women, women are much more likely to develop breast cancer than men are, and osteoarthritis affects more women than men. Is it possible that COVID-19 could affect women differently?
Men suffer more from COVID-19
Recent research suggests that people are fairly equal in their likelihood of catching the disease, but more men die from coronavirus. They may also have more severe cases. This may be because women tend to have stronger immune systems, or because men are more likely to ignore social distancing rules.
Men and women should be equally careful. Statistically, men are more likely to have conditions like heart disease that make COVID-19 more dangerous. They’re also more likely to smoke, which has been identified as a lifestyle choice that can make outcomes from COVID-19 worse.
However, women should take National Women’s Health Week as an opportunity to reinforce healthy habits that can help strengthen health overall, including the immune system:
- Develop healthy eating habits.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Get enough sleep.
- Exercise regularly.
COVID-19 may have extra effects on women
The pandemic has both men and women staying home more, potentially going to work in dangerous settings, and experiencing additional stress. However, there are some aspects of the pandemic that can affect women more than men.
- Women are more likely to be homeschooling school-age kids, taking care of little children, helping elderly friends and relatives, and working remotely … all at once. This can be very stressful.
- Women are more likely to have trouble sleeping. The pandemic has caused a surge in insomnia, and it may be worse for women.
- Women are more likely to experience depression, another problem that is increasing during the pandemic and shutdown.
- Domestic violence is also on the rise, and women are also more likely to be affected by this.
While women may have a lower chance of serious or deadly cases of coronavirus, they may be more susceptible to the negative effects of the pandemic on people who do not catch the disease.
During National Women’s Health Week, women should take the chance to make their own health a priority. Call your doctor if you have questions.