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COVID-19: Different For Women

Is COVID-19's impact different for women and men?

Nurses Disasters Article   posted

Specializes in Clinical Leadership, Staff Development, Education.

As data becomes available, differences in the impact of COVID-19 in women and men are emerging.  Becker’s Hospital Review compiled key statistics about the pandemic’s effect on women.  Read on to learn more.

COVID-19: Different For Women
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Becker’s Hospital Review recently compiled key statistics from hospital and healthcare leaders about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting U.S. women. The results, published in Becker's Hospital Review August 3, 2020 edition looked at 6 ways the pandemic is changing the way women live. Let’s take a closer look at the results.

Health Care

In June, The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a poll using 1,296 adult telephone interviews. The poll found that women (49%) were more likely than men (33%) to skip or postpone medical and/or dental care because of COVID-19. The pandemic is adding to the barriers women already face in U.S. healthcare, especially women who are minorities, low income, live in rural communities, and have disabilities.

A survey conducted by the Guttmacher Institute found one-third of U.S. women had delayed or canceled medical visits for sexual and reproductive healthcare due to the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic emerged during the public health crisis of increased rates of maternal mortality and morbidity among black women.

Jobs

According to a Pew Research Center Study, more women (11.5 million) lost jobs between February and May 2020 than men (9 million).

COVID-19 Exposure

There is limited data on pregnancy and COVID-19, but the following points from the American Association for the Advancement of Science can be made with research and from experts:

  • Fetal COVID-19 infections later in pregnancy tend to be rare
  • Emerging data suggest pregnancy may make women more vulnerable to severe COVID-19 due to:
    • Lungs and the cardiovascular system already stressed during pregnancy
    • The mother’s immune system compromised to prevent an anti-fetal immune response.
  • Pregnant women have a higher risk of blood clots and the risk is amplified with COVID-19

Racial Differences

New research from the New York Times found pregnant Black and Latino women in Philadelphia are 5 times more likely to be exposed to the coronavirus when compared to the city’s pregnant White women. The study also found 10% of Black and Latino pregnant participants had been exposed to the virus compared to only 2% of White pregnant women and 1% of Asian women.

Beyond Pregnancy

A recent study, published in BJOG, followed 675 pregnant women admitted for delivery at 3 New York hospitals in late March and April. After giving birth, 9 of 70 (13%) women positive for COVID-19 had at least 1 of three complications after delivery:

  • Fever
  • Low oxygen level
  • Hospital readmission

Of the 605 non-infected women, 27 women (4.5%) had one of the above three post-delivery complications.

Leadership

Between July 14th and July 28th, women continued to accept hospital leadership positions despite the on-going pandemic. Women in nursing made the following leadership moves:

  • President at Vidant Beaufort Hospital, Washington, N.C.
  • Chief Infection Prevention Officer at Ballad Health, Johnson City, TN

Burden

I recently read an article on the World Economic Forum and the writer suggests women experience greater fallout from the pandemic than men. The writer gave 3 reasons for this conclusion:

  • The majority of health and social care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle are women.
  • Women generally are still responsible for childcare and mass school closures have proved challenging for women in this role.
  • Women do more unpaid care work than men, such as caring for family members with the virus.

Life with COVID has been a challenge for everyone, regardless of race or gender. As more research is becoming available on the physical, social and emotional impact of the virus, disparities between certain groups are better understood. Perhaps what we learn during these uncharted days will be a catalyst for improving women’s health in the future.

Your Thoughts?

What disparities have you experienced or witnessed over the past few months?

J. Adderton MSN has over 20 years experience in clinical leadership, staff development, project management and nursing education.

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GrumpyRN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Department.

Worldwide more men die from Covid than women.

This disease is ageist, sexist and racist. It kills older people more, it kills men more and it kills BAME people more.

Not really the time to talk about "What disparities have you experienced or witnessed over the past few months?"

There are disparities. Some of them favor/burden men. Some of them women. Some the elderly. Some ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

Some of them might affect us directly. Some indirectly.

If you’re a woman, chances are that you have at least one of the following in your life: a father, a son, a brother, a husband or male partner, a male friend or a male coworker.

If you’re a man, chances are that you have at least one of the following in your life: a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife or a female partner, a female friend or female coworker.

People we love and care about.

Yes, I think it’s important to identify areas that are of particular concern and groups that are especially vulnerable. We need learn and use that knowledge to try to improve our collective future.

Why do they try to divide us any chance they get? Never seen a disease so politicized and being used as a propaganda tool.

J.Adderton, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Clinical Leadership, Staff Development, Education.

On 8/11/2020 at 10:45 AM, macawake said:

Yes, I think it’s important to identify areas that are of particular concern and groups that are especially vulnerable. We need learn and use that knowledge to try to improve our collective future. 

I appreciate the different perspectives and it is true, everyone has their own narrative in COVID-19. I hope research intensifies so we can continue to learn more, especially those at higher risk.

15 hours ago, ICU/EMTP said:

Why do they try to divide us any chance they get? Never seen a disease so politicized and being used as a propaganda tool.

How about HIV? No public health emergency declarations, with related public health measures such as quarantine and lots of public notification of how it spreads, was declared. This was to be politically correct and not offensive to the homosexual community.

As a result, many innocent people, such as hemophiliacs, became infected, suffered, and died.

With this so-called novel coronavirus, I think they knew it existed much sooner than the general public was informed, hence the name 19, as in 2019.. They didn't bother to tell the public until 2020.

An immediate quarantine should have been put into place. Immediate, far-reaching,

and long-lasting. Until a vaccine is developed.

I think there might already be a vaccine.

There has probably been a test for quite a long time before the public has had access to it. Trump and those near him have testing EVERY SINGLE DAY, if he can be believed.

It will be interesting to see if the Russian vax works.

Edited by Kooky Korky

On 8/11/2020 at 9:15 AM, GrumpyRN said:

Worldwide more men die from Covid than women.

This disease is ageist, sexist and racist. It kills older people more, it kills men more and it kills BAME people more.

Not really the time to talk about "What disparities have you experienced or witnessed over the past few months?"

What is BAME?

GrumpyRN, NP

Specializes in Emergency Department.

11 hours ago, Kooky Korky said:

What is BAME?

BAME stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and is defined as all ethnic groups except White ethnic groups. It does not relate to country origin or affiliation.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse.

11 hours ago, Kooky Korky said:

How about HIV? No public health emergency declarations, with related public health measures such as quarantine and lots of public notification of how it spreads, was declared. This was to be politically correct and not offensive to the homosexual community.

As a result, many innocent people, such as hemophiliacs, became infected, suffered, and died.

Ah, so the other fatalities were not innocent.

10 minutes ago, Jedrnurse said:

Ah, so the other fatalities were not innocent.

Lifestyle disease. As innocent as anyone else that doesn’t take precautions with a voidable ailments.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse.

40 minutes ago, ICU/EMTP said:

Lifestyle disease. As innocent as anyone else that doesn’t take precautions with a voidable ailments.

Do you apply the same standard to people who go maskless to large crowded group events in 2020?

3 hours ago, Jedrnurse said:

Do you apply the same standard to people who go maskless to large crowded group events in 2020?

Is wearing a mask a reasonable protection against C19? If you do not take precautions and contract C19, then that is your fault. Lifestyle disease is solely the responsibility of the one living the lifestyle. The interesting thing is how few are willing to accept it.

On 8/13/2020 at 5:12 PM, ICU/EMTP said:

Is wearing a mask a reasonable protection against C19? If you do not take precautions and contract C19, then that is your fault. Lifestyle disease is solely the responsibility of the one living the lifestyle. The interesting thing is how few are willing to accept it.

Masks have been made a law in many states and states that haven’t done so still have areas within the state that have also made it a law. Good luck enforcing it. Businesses place a sign on the door but say nothing as they watch customers violate the order. Airlines say that passengers must wear masks but they do not enforce it. My husband works on OR equipment in hospitals so he unfortunately has to fly to some accounts-the airline will say that everyone has to wear a mask-but don’t do anything if they don’t have one on when boarding-they will keep telling them about their seatbelt and trays, but nothing about the mask they keep taking off or never had on to begin with. The person doing checkin has their mask below their nose to top it off and lets people board without a mask after stating one is required.

Of course the ones without the masks seen to be the loudest and most ‘chatty’ on the plane I’ve heard. My husband told the guy to please stop screaming questions at him and put his mask on since he has a family that he doesn’t want to subject to COVID19 since he was seated close to some a-hole on the plane. Laws/rules are completely useless if not enforced and those employed by companies not enforcing the policies are not helping the problem.

Oh, and his luggage for the plane right was an extra $630 for three bags (tools to make an OR operational again)-their response, “We’ve lost millions over the past few months”....what the heck does that make three bags suddenly cost $630 for one person-on top of the $800 air ticket to sit next to the obnoxious guy refusing to wear a mask....

More and more places are starting to feel like a trip to Walmart only with much higher prices....

Edited by NurseSpeedy

RN-to- BSN, ADN, RN

Specializes in SCRN.

Some valid reasons COVID-19 would have more impact on women (pregnancy, unable to return to work due to lack of childcare).

I never like this division into sex categories, though, there is plenty of PEOPLE that suffer from the virus.

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