Gender Disparities in Self-Reported COVID-19 Symptoms in Young Adults

Author(s): Eliad Aviram, Bina Kishner, David Gilad, Yoav Avraham, Naama Schwartz, Shachar Shapira

Objective: Young adults constitute a significant proportion of COVID-19 cases but generally experience a milder disease. Our study’s goal was to characterize symptoms of disease in a cohort of young adults and to examine possible gender-associated disparities in clinical manifestations.

Study Design and Setting: The study is a retrospective survey study. The study questionnaire was sent to all post-COVID-19 IDF personnel between June and September 2020. Univariate and multivariable analysis adjusting for differences in baseline characteristics were employed in the statistical analysis.

Results: 3247 questionnaires were sent. A total of 792 questionnaires were included in the analysis. The average age was 24.2Y/O and 21Y/O for males and females, respectively. Only 3 participants were hospitalized. Approximately 97% of participants reported at least one COVID-19 symptom, only 45.8% reported fever above 38.0ºC. Female participants reported significantly more symptoms. Most of these differences were maintained in the multivariable analysis. Females also reported increased use of medications.

Conclusions: Our findings show a high percentage of symptomatic infection with COVID-19 and suggest young generally healthy female patients experience symptoms of increased severity and duration compared to males.

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