Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Understanding the Impact of Sociocultural Gender on Post-acute Sequelae of COVID-19: a Bayesian Approach


Abstract

Background Women are overrepresented amongst individuals suffering from post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC). Biological (sex) as well as sociocultural (gender) differences between women and men might account for this imbalance, yet their impact on PASC is unknown.

Methods and Findings By using Bayesian models comprising >200 co-variates, we assessed the impact of social context in addition to biological data on PASC in a multi-centre prospective cohort study of 2927 (46% women) individuals in Switzerland. Women more often reported at least one persistent symptom than men (43.5% vs 32.0% of men, p<0.001) six (IQR 5–9) months after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Adjusted models showed that women with personality traits stereotypically attributed to women were most often affected by PASC (OR 2.50[1.25-4.98], p<0.001), in particular when they were living alone (OR 1.84[1.25-2.74]), had an increased stress level (OR 1.06[1.03-1.09]), had undergone higher education (OR 1.30[1.08-1.54]), preferred pre-pandemic physical greeting over verbal greeting (OR 1.71[1.44-2.03]), and had experienced an increased number of symptoms during index infection (OR 1.27[1.22-1.33]).

Conclusion Besides gender- and sex-sensitive biological parameters, sociocultural variables play an important role in producing sex differences in PASC. Our results indicate that predictor variables of PASC can be easily identified without extensive diagnostic testing and are targets of interventions aiming at stress coping and social support.
Competing Interest Statement

CG has received research grants from the Novartis Foundation and speakers fees from Sanofi Genzyme, Switzerland outside of the submitted work. The University Hospital Zurich (CG, RRB, APP, MM, PAK) holds a research contract with GE Healthcare outside of the submitted work. CG and AM have received research grants from Bayer Pharmaceuticals outside of the submitted work. JCS and TS reports (full departmental disclosure) grants from Orion Pharma, Abbott Nutrition International, B. Braun Medical AG, CSEM AG, Edwards Lifesciences Services GmbH, Kenta Biotech Ltd, Maquet Critical Care AB, Omnicare Clinical Research AG, Nestle, Pierre Fabre Pharma AG, Pfizer, Bard Medica S.A., Abbott AG, Anandic Medical Systems, Pan Gas AG Healthcare, Bracco, Hamilton Medical AG, Fresenius Kabi, Getinge Group Maquet AG, Draeger AG, Teleflex Medical GmbH, Glaxo Smith Kline, Merck Sharp and Dohme AG, Eli Lilly and Company, Baxter, Astellas, Astra Zeneca, CSL Behring, Novartis, Covidien, Nycomed, and Phagenesis, outside of the submitted work. The money went into departmental funds, no personal financial gain applies. All other authors declare: no support from any organisation for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organisations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years, no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

Abstract

Background Women are overrepresented amongst individuals suffering from post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC). Biological (sex) as well as sociocultural (gender) differences between women and men might account for this imbalance, yet their impact on PASC is unknown.

Methods and Findings By using Bayesian models comprising >200 co-variates, we assessed the impact of social context in addition to biological data on PASC in a multi-centre prospective cohort study of 2927 (46% women) individuals in Switzerland. Women more often reported at least one persistent symptom than men (43.5% vs 32.0% of men, p<0.001) six (IQR 5–9) months after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Adjusted models showed that women with personality traits stereotypically attributed to women were most often affected by PASC (OR 2.50[1.25-4.98], p<0.001), in particular when they were living alone (OR 1.84[1.25-2.74]), had an increased stress level (OR 1.06[1.03-1.09]), had undergone higher education (OR 1.30[1.08-1.54]), preferred pre-pandemic physical greeting over verbal greeting (OR 1.71[1.44-2.03]), and had experienced an increased number of symptoms during index infection (OR 1.27[1.22-1.33]).

Conclusion Besides gender- and sex-sensitive biological parameters, sociocultural variables play an important role in producing sex differences in PASC. Our results indicate that predictor variables of PASC can be easily identified without extensive diagnostic testing and are targets of interventions aiming at stress coping and social support.
Competing Interest Statement

CG has received research grants from the Novartis Foundation and speakers fees from Sanofi Genzyme, Switzerland outside of the submitted work. The University Hospital Zurich (CG, RRB, APP, MM, PAK) holds a research contract with GE Healthcare outside of the submitted work. CG and AM have received research grants from Bayer Pharmaceuticals outside of the submitted work. JCS and TS reports (full departmental disclosure) grants from Orion Pharma, Abbott Nutrition International, B. Braun Medical AG, CSEM AG, Edwards Lifesciences Services GmbH, Kenta Biotech Ltd, Maquet Critical Care AB, Omnicare Clinical Research AG, Nestle, Pierre Fabre Pharma AG, Pfizer, Bard Medica S.A., Abbott AG, Anandic Medical Systems, Pan Gas AG Healthcare, Bracco, Hamilton Medical AG, Fresenius Kabi, Getinge Group Maquet AG, Draeger AG, Teleflex Medical GmbH, Glaxo Smith Kline, Merck Sharp and Dohme AG, Eli Lilly and Company, Baxter, Astellas, Astra Zeneca, CSL Behring, Novartis, Covidien, Nycomed, and Phagenesis, outside of the submitted work. The money went into departmental funds, no personal financial gain applies. All other authors declare: no support from any organisation for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organisations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years, no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Downloads

61 downloads since deposited on 22 Feb 2023
47 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Nuclear Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2021
Deposited On:22 Feb 2023 08:05
Last Modified:27 May 2024 15:23
Series Name:medRxiv
ISSN:0959-535X
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.06.30.21259757
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)