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Rapid response to:


Long covid: Damage to multiple organs presents in young, low risk patients

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 17 November 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4470

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Rapid Response:

Re: Why do women account for 70% of patients with Long COVID in this study?

Dear Editor

How strange that this article on Long COVID did not discuss the point that 70% of the patients were women. As suggested by Dr Ellen Grant in her rapid response, this could mean a possible association with use of hormonal contraceptives or HRT. Her comment about the known biochemical abnormalities associated with use of these hormones is important. Magnesium deficiency from hormonal contraception may be relevant as magnesium is necessary for vitamin D absorption. Vitamin D is an anti-oxidant which is recommended by many authorities as prophylaxis for COVID-19 and as part of the treatment for this condition. Zinc can also be lowered by use of sex steroid hormones and zinc has also been suggested for COVID-19 prophylaxis.

This surprising sex incidence needs further investigation.

Competing interests: No competing interests

03 December 2020
Elizabeth H Price
Retired medical microbiologist