London, Apr 19 (ANI): A kiss is certainly the best way to express love, but for female students at Edinburgh University it spells trouble-they are dropping out after falling ill by contracting what has been tagged "the kissing disease".
A study followed 57 students who developed glandular fever during their studies, tracking their symptoms and recovery.
And it was found that women lost more study time and had more severe symptoms than their male counterparts with the illness.
Now, the experts are hoping that the findings could help reduce cases of glandular fever and its effects.
This could include directing vaccines, currently being developed, to those groups most at risk.
The study found that women suffered worse from glandular fever than men in several ways-on average, the female patients missed 16 hours of classes because of the illness compared to three hours for men.
Women also experienced severe tiredness - one of the main symptoms of the disease - for twice as long as men, at four months compared to two months.
For both men and women, study time was reduced by an average of 25 hours a week after being diagnosed.
Researcher Karen McAulay said that it was not yet known why woman seemed to suffer worse than men.
"We are not sure why that would be the case at all. They tended to report their disease being more severe. They had more effects such as not being able to swallow, not being able to take exercise, not being able to go to classes or have social activities," the Scotsman quoted her as saying.
"Even at the six months follow-up, the women were more likely to say that they had tiredness and fatigue than the men," she added.
McAulay said there were vaccines in development which could be used to vaccinate students against glandular fever in future.
"You need to know who is most likely to be affected and how they will be affected to determine the best usage of the vaccine. That is what these studies are primarily for - to see who would be the best groups to target," she said.
Dr Karen Macsween, lead researcher on the study, said: "There is clear evidence that glandular fever may affect both the academic and social activities of students, particularly in the case of female students.
"Depending on the severity of the illness, this may have an adverse effect on a student's overall performance at university."
The study has been published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. (ANI)