According to a large study published on Tuesday, nearly one-fifth of patients with COVID symptoms experienced conditions consistent with a long COVID a month after their initial diagnosis.
Nonprofit analysis by FAIR Health has been included insurance claims of 1.96 million Americans, the largest patient population that has been studied for a long time during COVID, from February 2020 to February 2021.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic is waning, long-term COVID persists as a public health problem affecting many Americans,” said FAIR Health President Robin Gelburd.
“The findings of our new study shed significant light on this emerging issue for all people with long-term COVID, as well as for political leaders, suppliers, taxpayers and researchers “.
Dangers of “Long COVID”
“Long COVID” refers to symptoms of the disease that persist more than four weeks after diagnosis.
The study found that, at all ages, the most common post-viral conditions were in order of frequency: pain, shortness of breath, high cholesterol, general discomfort, and fatigue, and high blood pressure.
The probabilities of dying 30 days or more after the initial diagnosis of COVID were 46 times higher in patients hospitalized with COVID and discharged compared with those who were not hospitalized.
Overall, 0.5% of hospitalized and discharged COVID patients died 30 days or more after their initial diagnosis.
19% of asymptomatic patients with COVID experienced long-term symptoms of COVID within 30 days of initial diagnosis; the figure grew to 27.5% of COVID patients who were symptomatic but not hospitalized and 50% of those who were hospitalized.
The order of the most common long COVID diseases varied according to age group, for example in the pediatric population, intestinal problems were replaced high cholesterol as the third most frequent.
Most long-term COVIDs were associated more with women than men, but some, such as heart inflammation, were more common in men, accounting for 52% of cases and 48% of women.
A quarter of all these cases occurred in people aged 19 to 29 years.
Among the four mental health conditions assessed after 30 days, anxiety was the most common, followed by depression, adjustment disorders, and tic disorders.
The biggest drawback of the new study is that it does not have a control group of people who never got COVID, which would help determine the extent to which COVID caused the conditions rather than being random.
The causes of long-term COVID, also known as long-term COVID, post-COVID syndrome, or post-acute sequelae of COVID, are unknown.
“Theories include persistent immune activation after the acute phase; initial damage to the virus, such as damage to slowly healing nerve pathways and persistent presence of low-level virus,” the study said.
© 2021 AFP
Citation: One-fifth of patients with asymptomatic COVID develop long COVID: study (2021, June 15) retrieved June 15, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-asymptomatic-covid-patients.html
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