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Almost one-third of older adults develop new conditions after COVID-19

0 2 years ago

In its acute phase, COVID-19 mainly involves the respiratory tract. However, researchers have shown that the disease can affect multiple organs in a person’s body.

In addition, there is a growing recognition of long COVID among researchers and clinicians. Long COVID manifests as persistent symptoms in people who have recovered from the acute phase of a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

In the present study, the researchers wanted to better understand the likelihood of older adults developing health conditions following a SARS-CoV-2 infection, which experts generally refer to as sequelae.

The study, which appears in the BMJ, lays the groundwork for further research to understand the long-term effects of COVID-19 on people’s health.

“With over 400 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, even a modest risk of long-term sequelae will have a major impact on patients and our healthcare systems. Understanding the magnitude of this impact and the specific organ systems that can be affected by the post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 is critically important information.”

To do this, Dr. Cohen and his colleagues looked at the health insurance records of 133,366 older adults in the United States. The participants were 65 years old or older and received a COVID-19 diagnosis before April 1, 2020.

The researchers matched these participants to three other comparison groups: two groups that did not have COVID-19 in 2020 and 2019, and a third group that did not have COVID-19 but had a lower respiratory tract infection.

The researchers then identified new conditions occurring 3 weeks or more after each participant’s COVID-19 diagnosis.


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