Study identifies characteristics linked with higher likelihood of post COVID-19 condition diagnosis

Many studies have described a variety of long-term effects of COVID-19, with symptoms including fatigue and malaise, breathing difficulties, and cognitive problems, often referred to as post COVID-19 condition or long COVID. A recent analysis in the Journal of Internal Medicine has identified several characteristics associated with a higher likelihood of receiving a post COVID-19 condition diagnosis.

In the study of 204,805 individuals who tested positive for Sars-CoV-2 in Stockholm, Sweden from March 2020 through July 2021, the proportion receiving a post COVID-19 condition diagnosis was 1% among individuals not hospitalized for their COVID-19 infection, 6% among hospitalized, and 32% among individuals treated in intensive care units (ICUs). The most common new-onset symptoms among individuals with a post COVID-19 condition diagnosis were fatigue (29%) among non-hospitalized individuals, and breathing difficulties among both hospitalized (25%) and ICU-treated patients (41%).

Female sex, previous mental health disorders, and asthma were associated with post COVID-19 condition among non-hospitalized and hospitalized individuals.

Among individuals with post COVID-19 condition, use of outpatient care was substantially elevated up to one year after the acute infection.

Our understanding of health effects beyond the acute SARS-CoV-2 infection is continuously improving. In this study, we observed a marked difference in the occurrence of post COVID-19 condition diagnosis across different severities of the acute infection. Furthermore, the elevated outpatient primary and specialist care use indicates poor recovery for individuals suffering from post COVID-19 condition, highlighting the urgent need to better understand this condition and its potential resolution over time."

Pontus Hedberg, MD, corresponding author, postdoctoral researcher at Karolinska Institutet



Journal reference:

Hedberg, P., et al. (2022) Post COVID-19 condition diagnosis: A population-based cohort study of occurrence, associated factors, and healthcare use by severity of acute infection. Journal of Internal Medicine.

Posted in: Medical Research News | Medical Condition News | Disease/Infection News

Tags: Asthma, Breathing, covid-19, Education, Fatigue, Healthcare, Intensive Care, Medicine, Mental Health, Research, SARS, SARS-CoV-2

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